As we head into February, I find it fitting to engage in a more formal conversation about the evolution of my training regimen and the significance of practicing under pressure.
Navigating the Developmental Flow
My hitters journey from August to October has been one of exploration—deliberately testing various stances, loads and approaches to discern efficacy. From November to January, we conscientiously construct habits and fortify strength based on discerned success factors.
Now, as February unfolds, our focus pivots towards elevating these ingrained habits into finely honed skills.
Decoding Talent, Habits, and Skills
Talent serves as the foundation, while habits represent the refined actions executed repeatedly without conscious thought. However, the pinnacle of mastery lies in skills—performing these actions seamlessly under duress. The critical element in this transition is the intentional inclusion of pressure and stress during practice.
The Essence of Practicing Under Pressure
Conventional hitting excellence is demonstrated by hitting a baseball off a tee. Yet, the true challenge lies in consistently hitting a target 40 feet away, with the added complexity of closing one’s eyes, accomplishing this feat six out of 10 times.
The deliberate introduction of stress during training surpassing that encountered in the actual game is the catalyst for transforming proficiency into true skill.
Essential Element in This Transition: Embrace the Shift
As we approach February with a sense of formality, let us collectively embrace the challenge of practicing under pressure. This nuanced approach is not merely about refining our abilities, but fostering resilience and adeptness to perform under the heightened intensity of competitive play.
May this month mark a distinctive stride in our journey, exemplifying the refinement of talent into honed skills.
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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.