Saturday, January 30, 2010

Georgia Peach on a Cold January Morning...

"Baseball was one hundred percent my life." - Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers
On this frigid winter morning, there are thoughts of baseball diamonds, white leather spheres and bats running through my brain. 

I can see the players lined up in the outfield, getting stretched out. I visualize them throwing and then going through the pre-game workout.

On the pro level its a few weeks away. On the collegiate level, its just about here. At the high school level (at least in NJ) we start up March 5th!!

With this in mind, the advice we get from the great "Georgia Peach" - Tyrus Cobb, tells us that - we should be thinking about all this already as we prepare for the upcoming season.

He lets us know that to be the best at whatever you choose, it takes a 100% effort - physically, mentally, emotionally. So whether we are going to be engineers, accountants, bankers, teachers, nurses, attorneys, entrepreneurs - go at it with everything back. If you hold - you run the risk of looking back on the moments and saying "What if I had given 100%?"

So on the cold New Jersey morning, take a little time to reflect about the choices you make, look in the mirror and decide where you are going to put your 100%. You can't change the past, but you can surely shape the future.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's All in the Mind...

"You must have an alibi to show why lost. If you haven't one, you must fake one. Your self-confidence must be maintained." - Christy Mathewson, Hall of Fame pitcher from the New York Giants

One of the most underrated qualites of successful people is their confidence. To be successful and triumphant, one must believe! There has to be no doubts. Doubts will lead to self-questioning. Self-question will lead to fear. And fear will lead to, even more fear.

So close your eyes, count to five and believe! If one lacks self-confidence, one is defeated before the contest has even begun.

So whether it's baseball, life or any game - one has to look and play the role, before any wins can be put in the book.

For more on Mathewson, check out -

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Skills, Skills, Skills

"If you aim to steal 30 or 40 bases a year, you it by surprising the other side. But if your goal is 50 or 100 bases, the element of surprise doesn't matter. You go even though they know you're going to go.  Then each steal becomes a contest, matching your skills against theirs." - Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock - former Cub and Cardinal

Ok all you baseball nuts out there, here we sit in late January pining for Spring and the arrival of pitchers and catchers to Florida and Arizona.

At the collegiate, high school and youth levels - kids are working on their game getting ready for the upcoming season. One way players can get ready for the upcoming season is to hone up on the love of the contest and to work on their baseball skills.  It's a great time to start swinging the bat, throwing the baseball and getting the legs in shape for baseball type activity.  

It doesn't have to be everyday, but about 2-3 times a week is perfect. If hitting, it doesn't have to be live pitching - it could be soft toss, tee work or even just dry swings.  For pitchers, it doesn't have to involve throwing hard - just work on the basics. The basics for pitchers would be the windup/set stances, the motion, balance and getting the arm into the proper throwing position.

On the mental side, players should be analyzing their own goals and expectation and getting them down in writing.  They should be specific goals and specific expectations. Players should be doing a lot of visualizing and mental preparation.

January is almost over. At that point, we're just about 4 weeks from Spring Training games!!

Mitch Powitz

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feels like spring...

Ok everyone, I'm give this blogging this a run on a regular basis. (At least the third or fourth time I've written that).

I'm going to feature a famous quote (or not so famous) and work off of it as we start counting down to the start of baseball season.

So we start with Brooklyn Dodger great Roy Campanella:

"You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too." 

The Three-time National League MVP ( sums up a key element to success in any endeavor - enthusiasm. He perhaps was one of the greatest catchers in baseball history and this, I'm sure, was one of the keys to his success.

Even after he suffered a career-ending car accident which paralyzed him from the waist down in the late 1950s, he still had a reputation and upbeat and enthusiastic man. 

Let's hope the little boy (or little girl) comes out of each of us a little bit each day.