Have you heard of “the process”? This idea has been made popular in recent years by Alabama’s Head Football Coach, Nick Saban. Here are a few of his quotes explaining it...
“Don‘t talk about what you’re going to accomplish, talk about how you’re going to do it.”
“It’s not the end result that matters. Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the National Championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment."
“That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.”
“We don’t talk about winning championships, we talk about being champions.”
“The basic concept is that a player should focus on each small task that will make them better, not on the end goal.”
So how do you apply this to setting goals for baseball?
So often, players set goals like “I want to hit over .300" or "I want to have an era below 2.00". But according to "the process" this is the wrong way to go about setting goals.
What you should be doing instead, is setting goals to execute the small daily tasks that will make you a better ballplayer in the long run.
As we’ve discussed in other articles-the end result is always out of our control. The only thing we can control is our effort, attitude and focus in the moment.
A perfect example of this is can be seen when a pitcher releases the baseball. No matter what a pitcher does he ultimately has no control over the outcome when the ball leaves his hands. He may throw the perfect pitch in the perfect spot and the batter may still put a good swing on it and get a hit. That’s just the way the game works. What the pitcher can control is his focus before the pitch. He can control is attitude and his mindset of being aggressive. He can control his effort that he puts into that specific pitch and in the drills he practiced leading up to that outing.
So I encourage you when you are setting goals for your career or for your upcoming season to set goals that you can control.
What are the small daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you need to do to put yourself in the best position to succeed-to be a champion? Now, go do that!
You can control you effort in practice. You can control your effort in your conditioning program. You can control your focus during batting practice. You can read books or articles (like this one) on the mental game. You can adjust your thinking to focus on positive self talk. These are the things to focus on and use as goals to work towards.
Best of luck guys. Please share this, and let us know how this works for you!