The ability to focus on the process is a characteristic that most great players and teams share. The most consistent performers I have coached were the guys that had the ability to focus on the process. Their work habits were very consistent from day to day.
Baseball is a tough game to play because you play so many games and there is more failure than success. Programs I have been involved in spend a great deal of time studying the mental game, teaching guys how to deal with failure, and how to stick to the process through failure and success. Brian Cain and Ken Ravizza are the best in the business in teaching these concepts. I would highly recommend looking into their work.
One of Brian’s phrases that I love is what he refers to as “the next 200 feet”. The illustration is this….
If you were going to drive from Florida to California in the dark without street signs, how would you do it? Of course you would have the GPS or a map, but how would you see where you were supposed to go? The answer is very simple; you would utilize your head lights. The head lights help you see approximately 200 feet in front of you. You could make it to California, but you would have to do it in tiny increments of 200 feet and trust that you would eventually get there.
We will spend a great deal of time talking about this with our guys…focusing on the next two hundred feet. What is the next two hundred feet? It is the next sprint, the next drill, the next swing, the next pitch, the next at bat, the next game. This type of mindset leads to day-to-day improvement and helps players improve faster AND enjoy the game more.
Coach Rob Ramseyer is the Head Baseball Coach at Hesston College. If you would like to discuss this topic further, you are welcome to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also chat with Hesston Baseball on Twitter & Facebook.