After seeing Gonzaga pull off a stunning shot at the end of overtime against the UCLA Bruins to put the Bulldogs in the National Championship game against Baylor University, I watched the TV interview with Gonzaga Head Coach, Mark Few.
Coach Few commented how tough UCLA played and how his team had to reach deep down within themselves to overcome the tenacity of their opponent. However, when Few was asked how he felt as Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs made a 35-foot shot at the end of the game, which banked off the backboard and swished through the net, Few made an interesting comment. Few said that Suggs practices that shot all the time, and he knew the ball would go in the basket.
Coach Few KNEW Jalen Suggs was going to make the shot because they practice those end-of-game scenarios all the time. There was no question in Few’s mind that Suggs would make that shot. This same outcome should be occurring during our son’s pitching outings if they’re practicing daily for situations where a big pitch is needed.
As this newsletter title states: hope is not a plan and a plan is not hope. Just like Jalen Suggs practices that shot over and over, as coaches we must work with players on situations that will occur in a game so we’re not surprised when the moment comes.
When baseball season begins, our training allows us to perform at a high level just like we planned for, not hoped for. But by the middle of a season, I find more and more players practicing less for these situations and just trying to survive the physical and mental toll that games have on them. Instead of planning and practicing, they only hope to do well. But Hope Is Not A Plan. We have to constantly strive to better ourselves, not just show up and wait for someone to tell us what to do.
Players who continually work are the ones who will be rewarded with good results because they have a plan and put it into practice. Those players don’t live with hope; they work their plan.
We are quickly moving toward the middle of April when games will be played on a consistent basis. It’s imperative players continue practicing the things that made them successful. Sticking to a well-prepared plan will always put a player ahead of those who just show up to go through the motions.
On that note, our Summer Training sessions are just around the corner. We’ll be making an announcement this coming week with the dates, times, and details. Our summer training is the most important time of year in player development so they can gain an edge in velocity, arm health, and recovery. Players in past years have always said that their skills on the field are a direct result of their training at Throwzone during the summer.
Players can realistically gain a clear edge over their opponents and other players in college, high school, and travel ball programs by training with us for up to eight weeks. Be watch your email inbox and our social media platforms for this important summer training information!
Until next time…