How having a good sponsor can lift you to greater heights

L-R: CJ, Emmett Johnson, Sr., and Emmett Johnson, Jr. Coach Emmett (middle) was my youth baseball coach, and remains a friend and sponsor to me.

A good coach is not enough. You also need a strong sponsor. “He who owns the definition owns the movement.”

Before the word coach was used in the context of sports, it was reserved strictly for transportation. A coach got you to where you were supposed to be.

A sponsor is someone who publicly supports and protects someone. So much money is invested each year for good coaching to improve hitting. Then what? You can definitely get your swing to look good and work well, and yet still fall short of getting a baseball scholarship or drafted.

I’ve been a professional hitting coach since 1998. I have learned a lot about what it takes to be professional.

For me, being a professional at anything is:

  • Being prepared
  • Being punctual
  • Making promises
  • Keeping promises

One of the major reasons I have been able to work with more than 40 clients in the Major Leagues—with hundreds who have competed in the NCAA—is because of my ability to publicly support and protect them. I’ve had to make calls on their behalf to convince college coaches and MLB Scouts that my hitters were worth the financial investment.

Sometimes, they were receiving opportunities based on their project-ability. Their bat speed may not have been quick enough at the time they were being scouted at age 16. Their ability to make quick adjustments was not a habit yet.

Training with me, my hitters will be committed and disciplined.

Commitment is making a promise firstly to yourself and for yourself. Discipline is doing what needs to be done especially when you do not want to do it.

Get good coaches on your team. Be sure to also have a strong sponsor.

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.