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It is often said that competition brings out the best in people. People will say that you will work harder if there’s someone breathing down your neck or there is a game to be won or a spot on the roster to be had.

However, is there a problem with competition? Is it that competition takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method as Seth Godin would say and to find a new way. He adds that when you have competition, “it’s the pack that decides what’s going to happen next, you’re merely trying to get (or stay) in front.”

Is that what we strive for? To be part of the pack? To be something that any other player can be? Or do you focus on improving within yourself each day on your journey, whether athletic related or not.

Competing with yourself is certainly more difficult. It requires more bravery, but leads to more insight.


Here is a simple math problem (baseball style) for you to take a swing at…

Any situation + a negative mindset = ?

How many of you said that the answer to this problem posed above is such things as FAILURE, a BAD RESULT or a PROBLEM?

If so, consider the truth that the answer really is that it equals an “ILLUSION OF A PROBLEM” because there really isn’t an issue.

The fact is that we as human beings tend to see things as “we are”, not as “they really are” so when we have a negative mindset or one that is insecure, we tend not to look at any situation as a new chance to succeed, but rather a downward spiral of situations that they believe will cause them to fail again.

Let’s take another minute to look at this math “Opportunity” again, with one minor change shall we?

Any situation + a positive(secure) mindset = ?

You guessed it..



Understanding the strike zone is not enough. The majority of us expect so much of our players in terms of them knowing “what is a strike” and “what is not.” It’s easy right? Anything that crosses the plate is a strike from the knees to the letters. If it doesn’t, it’s a ball and no swing is required.

The truth is that there are so many more variables to this question. The real question that should be asked is, what is that particular players strike zone? What can they hit and not hit? What can they hit and what can they hit well? What can they hit well and what can they absolutely crush? Knowing this can allow growth to soar in terms of hitting.


Too often, we say, you have to hit that pitch the other way, stay down through the ball, you need to take a better angle…etc. A major key in the growth of a player is for them to understand how their body works. The more they understand this, the faster they can grow. A coach who spends the time teaching sound fundamentals, footwork, and balance is putting players in a position to succeed. If you are a coach and take this approach, you’re on the right track.


Heard of the “Pink Elephant” theory? You may or may not have, but I can guarantee it’s probably had an effect on a lot of games you have played in. Let’s take the player who comes up late in the game with the tying run on third base and the winning run at second base. To make it even more interesting, let’s now say that – up until this point, this player at bat had hit three home runs in his previous three trips to the plate. The count is 1-1, and the third pitch of the at bat is a ball out of the strike zone, over the batters head. However, the player swings and misses.

Immediately, this player may hear, “Come on! Don’t swing at the pitch over your head! You can’t hit that can you? Come on now we have two guys on base. We’re counting on you! Don’t swing at that pitch!” Or he might hear, “Come on bud. That’s over your head right kiddo? Don’t worry about it. Don’t swing at the pitch over your head. You can do it. We all believe in you. Just don’t swing at the pitch over your head.”

A perfect example of the “Pink Elephant” theory.

The intriguing part about the former description is that the end result is typically the same. The batter doesn’t swing at the next pitch over his/her head. The problem is they don’t swing at another possible pitch – the one right down the middle for strike three. The game is over and the player doesn’t care that they hit three home runs. They feel they let everyone down and lost the game.

I invite you to try it sometime. When was the last time someone told you not to worry? Were you able to just stop worrying right then and there in that moment?

The more we try to force these things, the more bound up we get and the harder it is to perform freely and to our potential.

Don’t think of a pink elephant. Got it? Don’t think of a pink elephant.

Thinking of a Pink Elephant right now?

Thought so.


We don’t tend to think of life events or situations that occur in our life in terms of neutrality. Your “life” itself is constant while your life situations are neutral.

However, we usually judge and/or assign our life situations a value: positive or negative (ex. homerun vs. strike out), good or bad (diving play vs. diving miss), helpful or hurtful (being strong vs. being weak). While most of us think that these external circumstances actually happen “to” us (ex. a SLUMP),  in truth –  they don’t. They are just happening. All life situations are just happening.

Granted, we play a role in the outcome of whatever it is we face, but regardless of our role whether happy or disappointed, the nature of all circumstances or results in life is unbiased.

More precisely, if you can sense this difference between what goes on in the outside world (your life situations) and the resolute nature of your inner world(your life), you’ll be to handle not only the ups and downs on the baseball field, but in other areas of your life as well. Everything that occurs in our lives is meant to show us the way, not get in our way and it is up to us to make that choice. Bottom line – you are not regulated by your external circumstances.

An easier way to explain this is when you haven’t had a hit in 20 at bats and you hit a single to center, you ARE NOT out of your slump. The world would tell you that because that’s how they have defined it. The truth is that those hitless at bats never controlled you to begin with. They were neutral, just happening, not really happening to you.

That’s the beauty of baseball. You can fail 7 times out of 10 and be considered good. I can show you the guy who goes 0-10 at the plate and is good. 10 balls hit on the barrel of the bat extremely hard – and all caught.

Remember it’s…