Theo Hassan on what it takes to win the game of life

I’ve been looking forward this week to learning from my guest blogger, Theo Hassan. He recently joined our L.E.A.D. Center For Youth staff as a Program Coordinator and has quickly made an impact.

I used his pregame stretches this morning before I headed to the gym.

But enough about last week. Here’s our latest chat with Theo.

What’s your favorite quote and how does it help you win at the game of life?

Former professional player Sam Ewing once said, “It’s not the hours you put in that counts; it’s what you put in the hours.” This quote helps me win at the game of life because we cannot be successful if we are in the business of wasting time.

What was your best childhood memory as a teenage baseball player? On the collegiate level?

My favorite memory as a teenage baseball player was getting selected to play for the all-star team in a tournament in Jupiter, Florida. It was an amazing experience. As a collegiate player, winning the SWAC Championship game with Jackson State University as a freshman and sophomore. Two rings are definitely better than one.

What was a typical daily schedule for you as a college student-athlete?

Being in the band at Jackson State University and on the baseball team, my schedule was hectic. My day started at 4 a.m. for band camp/conditioning until 6 a.m. From 6 a.m.-8 a.m., I had baseball conditioning across campus in the weight room. I attended a full 18-credit hour class schedule from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by baseball practice from 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

My day ended after band practice from 6 p.m. -whenever we perfected the drill, which would be around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.

What’s your definition of a slump and how does a hitter or pitcher get out of it?

My definition of a slump can be summed up in one word: complacency. It goes back to my favorite quote by Sam Ewing, which I mentioned earlier. You don’t have to train for hundreds of hours, just train efficiently.

What’s your go-to hitting drill for the hitters that you coach that are experiencing a slump?

A drill I use to help with hitters experiencing a slump is a simple corner to corner angle toss. This drill trains the batters eyes to recognize and track the pitch all the way to the point of contact.

To help keep your skills sharp, we have introduced a new type of Skill Build—our Virtual Skill Build—where I can help you develop hitting skills anytime, anywhere using anything.

Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.

Theo Hassan on coaching today’s youth

Last week, I interviewed guest blogger, Theo Hassan, where we were able to learn a little about him. Theo also provided us with some insightful tips on pre- and post-game meals for baseball players.

I am back with Coach Theo for the next three weeks, this time, picking his brain about coaching players.

Here are some of the things he had to share:

What’s the toughest part of coaching today’s youth?

There are many obstacles a coach encounters while dealing with youth. It may be finding a way to connect with them, what to teach or how to keep parents involved.

The toughest challenge I’ve experienced is trying to get them to find their natural abilities before I can teach the sport. Most kids today are attached to their electronic devices and aren’t outside as much. This hinders the ability to discover their natural talent and the ability to move athletically.

What can coaches do better to help players reach their full potential?

Sometimes, we as coaches get caught on the drill and leave out the player. We should ask ourselves, “How can I make this drill fit this player? To help a player reach his full potential, we have to understand that all players aren’t the same athletically.

What are your top three pregame stretches?

There are many stretches athletes use in preparation for the game. After a 10-pole jog, I stretch my legs, my back, followed by my arms by using the color resistance bands.

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.