For more than 25 years, my journey in developing elite baseball hitters has evolved beyond the mechanics of hitting. Early in my career, I focused on teaching the art of hitting, but over time, I realized the missing link—the importance of knowing how to think.
Facing a 100 mph fastball is no small feat, yet it becomes possible with the right mindset.
In simplifying a crucial concept, I introduced the Focus Box. It revolves around four key steps:
- Failure – Acknowledge with humility when you have done it wrong
- Adjustment – Actively make a change, doing something different
- Success – Celebrate each time you do it right, even if just once
- Repeat – Strive for consistency, aiming to do it right six out of 10 times
Rather than attempting to correct failures immediately, hitters must embrace adjustments, avoiding failing strategies like trying to be perfect after failure or better after success.
My coaching success lies in teaching hitters not just how to hit but how to think. Entrusting them to figure out their approach fosters a mindset that leads to success on the field and beyond.
In addition to instilling a winning mindset, I emphasize the significance of expressing gratitude. Character plays a pivotal role in becoming a Major League Baseball player and a Major League citizen. Individuals who lack the humility to say thank you with both words and actions may struggle on and off the field.
Here’s a challenge: For the next 40 days of practice and training, commit to making adjustments after making mistakes. Don’t burden yourself with perfection; focus on improvement.
Simultaneously, send a note each day to someone different, expressing gratitude for their role in shaping who you are today.
By mastering how to think and embracing gratitude, you are not just becoming an elite baseball player—you are developing the character to excel both in the game and in life.
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.