In the latest session of my Hitting Lab with Jack Minutelli on Jan. 6, 2024, a profound moment unfolded early on. As we honed our skills using the Tanner Tee, Jack candidly expressed, “I’m struggling.”
To which I responded, “At least you aren’t stupid.”
This exchange brought to light the foundation of my mental model, “Steps to Significance,” which was crafted decades ago. The steps—Stupidity, Struggle, Success and Significance—lay the framework for personal and collective growth.
🥎 Stupidity – Defined as knowing the right thing to do and not doing it. To reach significance, one must navigate away from the pitfalls of stupidity.
🥎 Struggle – The process of striving toward a goal while grappling with setbacks due to ignorance or a lack of mental, emotional, and/or physical capacity.
🥎 Success – The achievement of a goal, a milestone in the journey toward significance.
🥎 Significance – Goes beyond personal success, encompassing the use of one’s achievements to serve others and uplift the community.
Jack, one of my esteemed Diamond Directors Baseball Development clients, has been under my guidance since July 2, 2021. He not only participates in my Hitting Lab, but also partners with my sports-based youth development organization, LEAD Center For Youth. This collaboration reflects his commitment to serving marginalized communities in Atlanta with excellence and dignity.
Jack has successfully traversed all four phases of my year-round programming, accumulating more than 10,000 meticulously tracked reps. The meticulous recording sets my Hitting Lab apart, ensuring progress is measured and improvements are noted.
During our Jan. 6 session, Jack shared a sentiment that resonated deeply, which expressed his desire to be successful not just for personal gain, but to serve others. He embodied the essence of significance.
A ninth-grader at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Jack embodies a rare combination of aptitude, athleticism, work ethic and character. His humility, defined as thinking of others more than oneself, mirrors the qualities I admired in Lovett greats like Brent Abernathy.
With Jack, the goal transcends individual success—it’s about grooming him for Major League Baseball stardom, aligning with the numerous teenagers I’ve helped develop. His aspiration to reach the Major Leagues is our benchmark for success, with significance defined by leveraging influence and affluence to uplift marginalized communities.
As a teenager, Jack faces the usual temptations that can derail dreams, emphasizing the importance of embracing struggle over succumbing to stupidity. He possesses the inherent qualities needed for greatness, and my role is to draw them out, ensuring he’s well-equipped to perform under stress. For Jack, the journey is more tactical than technical, and embracing struggle is the key to avoiding the pitfalls of stupidity.
For more information, visit L.E.A.D. Center for Youth today.
If you found this inspiring and thought-provoking, or if you have any questions, comments or concerns, add me on Discord and let’s go deeper.
C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 22 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and a track record of success that can work for you.