Finding the people—and means—to do great things

People before places. Advocacy and coaching. Sponsorship after mentorship.

Players lose out on opportunities because they are not aware or they don’t take action on these three things. These three areas are crucial parts of achieving success on and off the field, and it also leads to significance.

People before places

Young baseball players and their parents oftentimes put too much emphasis on the team that they can play for and the places that they will play rather than realizing the importance of the right person advocating for you.

Here’s a recent conversation that I had with a young man:

Player: Hey Coach Stewart, it is XXX. I hope you have been well. High school ball is over and we made the Elite 8 in the playoffs. I also received first team All-Region honors as a DH. Because of my high school season, I was invited to the “GA Dugout Club Underclassmen Top 100.”

Do you have any advice?

Me: Hey XXX. Congrats, that’s huge. What are the top three colleges on your list of schools you want to attend as a student-athlete?

Player: My schools in no order are: Cal Berkeley, Georgia Tech and Stanford.

Me: You should ask the coaches on the GA Dugout Club if they believe you are good enough to compete at any or all of these schools, and if yes, will they contact these schools for you. 

Advocacy and coaching

What’s the next best thing to have after you get a good coach? Advocacy. This is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within systems and institutions.

Coaching is very important because this is where players are taught and developed by their coaches to perform.

Well, middle school players need advocacy so a high school baseball coach knows more about them than what is being showcased at the tryout. This same thing applies to high school players who want to make the jump to college baseball to the pros.

Advocacy after coaching is like swallowing after chewing.

Sponsorship after mentorship

Mentoring has become such an overused terminology that it can be hard for young people to value it. Mentoring is very much like coaching, and sponsorship is very much like advocacy.

Oftentimes, coaching is done for the physical baseball stuff, while mentoring is done for the mental side. If you are going to mentor someone, but feel like opening up for them, that’s as big a waste of time as buying an umbrella and using it as a cane while walking in the rain.

You can achieve a lot of success if you put people before places, advocacy and coaching, and sponsorship after mentorship.

Significance is using your success to serve others.

Keep good coaches and mentors on your roster.

Just remember that advocates and sponsors are significant people and great people lead you to great places.

For more information, visit L.E.A.D. Center for Youth today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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.