Talent, habits and skills are not the same thing. When I was young, people talked about how much talent I had. Hearing it so much made me stop working as hard as I should have because I thought that talent was the ceiling. It’s important for young athletes to understand that talent is the floor and skill is the ceiling.
Talent will earn you some cheers but skills pay the bills.
There are three things that athletes should focus on developing in order to go from talent to skill:
- How you get along with other players
- How you handle life’s temptations
How you get along with other players
Nobody likes being around toxic people. You know the toxic players I’m talking about. They always complain and blame. There’s always an excuse for their failure. They will always do the least amount of work in practice and games.
Being a good teammate means you will get the benefit of the doubt, care and concern on days when you are not at your best from your teammates and coaches.
As Mark Twain once said, “Don’t walk away from negative people – run.”
How you handle life’s temptations
In this social media age for youth, you can become rich and famous really quick without ever signing a professional sports contract. And the decline of mental health among our millions of youth in the US is causing many of them to make unhealthy choices.
When people are experiencing stress, being active can cause a sense of calm. After a long day of stress at work, I love to go for a jog. I have friends who play in basketball leagues and others who play golf to calm their nerves.
In a sense, playing sports can be an anti-drug for those experiencing stress, depression and trauma that choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
Skills are getting things done repeatedly without thought while under stress. That’s why it is very important that we, as coaches, are committed to being professional and helping our players level up.
Coachability is simply the ability to learn from a coach. Before the word coach was used in sports, it was strictly used as a means of transportation. There was a horse, a coachman to stir the reins used to direct the horse, and the coach was where the passenger rested until they reached their destination.
Good coaching is about getting people where they need to be.
Being coachable means you must have at least these six core values:
- Excellence – meeting expectations
- Humility – not thinking of yourself less so that you can serve others more
- Integrity – doing the right thing even when you can do the wrong thing
- Loyalty – doing the right thing for the right reasons, even if they’re not popular
- Stewardship – protector of your values and people
- Teamwork – being your best within a group of people that are being their best for a specific purpose
If you do not have all six of these, you will not have a significant career as a Major League Baseball Player and you will not be a Major League Citizen either.
For more information, visit L.E.A.D. Center for Youth today.
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.