The 6 core values you need to be coachable

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:

  1. How you get along with other players
  2. How you handle life’s temptations
  3. Coachability
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

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:

  1. Excellence – meeting expectations
  2. Humility – not thinking of yourself less so that you can serve others more
  3. Integrity – doing the right thing even when you can do the wrong thing
  4. Loyalty – doing the right thing for the right reasons, even if they’re not popular
  5. Stewardship – protector of your values and people
  6. 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.

Do you want to buy the ticket or be the ticket?

I am a strong believer in teaching people how to think so they can teach themselves how to hit.

That was the case in my coaching relationship with New York Mets’ slugger Peter Alonso. He and I worked together during his junior and senior year of high school. He was and still is very knowledgeable about hitting.

My job was to help him to be knowledgeable about what to do next when he was not having success. My Focus Box falls under the tactical part of development.

Tactical skills deal with the mental side of things and the technical skills are the physical things.

Did you know that we are conscious of only about 5% of our cognitive activity, so most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depends on the 95% of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness?

This is important because based on my experience:

  • 25% of what you do is based on what you know.
  • 20% of what you do is based on what you don’t know.
  • 55% of what you do is based on what you don’t know that you don’t know.

Hitters find a coach for the 20%. My hitters come to me for 55%.

Baseball players spend countless hours developing the technical parts of hitting only to never reach their full potential because their tactical cup is extremely low at best and completely empty at worst.

Here are the seven technical things that I teach my hitters:

  1. Stance/Load
  2. Timing
  3. Tempo
  4. Tracking
  5. Approach
  6. Contact
  7. Extension/Finish

Here are the five tactical things my hitters must learn in order to go from having talent to skills that pay the bills:

  1. Attitude
  2. Awareness
  3. Adjustments
  4. Aptitude
  5. Athleticism

Having good timing is a technical skill that hitters need. Having the ability to be on time with the bases loaded with two outs and your team down by three runs requires either luck or tactical skills.

The alchemy of an athlete is as important as the transformation of a tree becoming a bat. And a lot of contact with the bat can allow an athlete to have a lot of impact.

  1. Deion Sanders building a nationally ranked football team at the University of Colorado with 86 new players is more tactical than technical.
  2. CoCo Gauff winning the US Open at age 19 is more tactical than technical.
  3. Steph Curry shooting jumping shots from the NBA logo and turning his back to head to set up to play defense before the ball swishes the net is more tactical than technical.
  4. Shohei Ohtani dominating in the MLB as a starting pitcher and a top of the order hitter is more tactical than technical.

Don’t get it twisted: Tactical training can and should start early in age. It requires commitment and discipline.

Whether it is on the playing field or off of it, you will either buy a ticket or be the ticket. You decide.

He who owns the definition owns the movement.

Adjustments – the ability to do something different that will lead to success
Alchemy – transformation
Aptitude – the ability to learn and apply
Attitude – how you act
Athleticism – being able to achieve success when you don’t know how to technically do it
Awareness – how you interpret
Commitment – a promise made starting with yourself and for yourself.
Discipline – doing things that need to be done especially when you do not want to do it
Habits – things that you do well repeatedly without thought
Impact – to have a strong effect or influence on a situation or person
Knowledge – information plus experience
Skills – things that you do well repeatedly without thought while under stress.
Talent – what you do well.

  • What should be taught first to develop elite baseball players, technical or tactical skills?
  • What should be taught first to successful people in non-athletic careers, technical or tactical skills?
  • What are examples of tactical skills that elite players should possess?
  • What tactical skills did you lack as an athlete that if you had it, you would have become elite?

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.

Believe. Change. Repeat.

Once you believe it, you can change. And belief comes from experience. The critical change construct that I have created for my life begins with conviction and ends with change.

  • Conviction
  • Connection
  • Consensus
  • Collaboration
  • Change

Starting with conviction allows me to get connected with others at the heart and then the head. Dealing with heart issues can cause hurt feelings and hurt feelings can lead to helpful friends.

I am suggesting that the experience of hurt can lead to change and our overcoming of the hurt can cause us to have strong belief in ourselves to do significant and extraordinary things.

According to Vinney (Smile) Chopra, there are five amazing benefits of believing in oneself:

  1. You become more focused in life.
  2. You begin to be an inspiration.
  3. You’re contaminated with positivity.
  4. You’ll come up with better decisions.
  5. You’re happier.

It is true that hurting people hurts people. Let conviction lead the way to change and remember that experiences can lead to empowerment.

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.

How standing “TALL” increases your chance at success

“You gotta be “This tall” to even “Think” about getting on this ride because the final stop for this ride is skill.”

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.

T – Talent
A – Attitude
L – Listening
L – Leveling-up

Talent

Talent is what you do well.

Having God-given bat speed is talent. Being able to maintain that bat speed, making contact and driving the ball against varying pitch types, locations and speeds is skill.

Attitude

Attitude is how you act.

Having a good attitude when things are going well is one thing. Maintaining it when things are not going well is another thing.

Listen

Listening and hearing are not the same. Listening leads to understanding and when you understand something, you can do something.

What if you had an opportunity to be trained by the world’s greatest hitting coach for a week with a guarantee you could develop into one of the top hitters in America?

But what if your new hitting coach did not speak the same language as you? You could hear what he was saying, but you wouldn’t be able to understand.

As Alan Alda said, “Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.”

Leveling-up

To level up means to increase something in order to remove unfair treatment of others.

What do you call a person who has success and uses it to serve others? I call that person significant.

Remember: Skills pay the bills and significant people can change the life of struggling people.

Since talent is what you do well and habits are things you do well repeatedly without thought, skills are things you do well repeatedly without thought while under stress.

I challenge you to use fall baseball wisely so you can develop the skills you need to achieve your future goal because there are people whose lives are tied to your dreams.

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.

How to be athletic, submit and be humble

My coaching philosophy is that practice prepares you to perform and performance prepares you to practice. My four phase development strategy starts in August each year with a commitment to assessment to determine what does not work and what does work for three months.

This is how I do things and it works for me—those who I instruct to coach and the boys who are coached by my coaches.

I was on vacation with my family in July in Jamaica, where you have to drive on the left side of the road. That can be crazy.

It’s about what’s right in addition to who’s right.

It was my first time experiencing this and I was a bit uneasy. I had to trust the experience and expertise of the other driver. I had to submit and humble myself.

In our Assessment Phase for L.E.A.D. Center For Youth, we don’t teach; we use contests and competition to lead the learning for our players.

Being athletic is about being able to think critically at a high level to get things down that you’ve never done before or have little experience doing. I am convinced that coaches coach greatness out of our players more than we do to bring it out by spending too much time talking rather than allowing our players to figure things out.

Kinesthetic learners love the Assessment Phase because they are hands on. Visual and auditory learners struggle during this time but their dominant learning style is elevated during our Engagement Phase (November-January) when it is time to build habits and strength based on what works.

We do a lot of teaching during this time now that I have seen what they can and cannot do for three months.

This fall, I ask my players to do three things: be athletic, submit and be humble.

  1. Athletic – being able to think critically at a high level to get things down that you’ve never done before or have little experience doing
  2. Submit – yield to the authority or the will of another person
  3. Humility – not thinking less than of myself but thinking of others more than myself

I want my players to get the best:

  • College baseball offers
  • MLB Signing Bonuses
  • NIL Deals in high school and college
  • Post athletic career transition

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.