“If I was given eight hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first six hours sharpening my axe.” –Abraham Lincoln

I can still remember Spring Training like it was yesterday. Not so much the games, but the practices. Early morning conditioning in the desert followed by PFPs (Pitchers Fielding Practice). Day after day after day.

I remember thinking, “Ok. I got it. I can field a ground ball and throw it to first. Can we mix this up a little?” But, we didn’t.

We practiced the fundamentals over and over again until we could pick someone off of first with our eyes closed. Interestingly, though, the veterans didn’t say a word. They knew the drills were part of the process. They were at the highest level of baseball and they never stopped focusing on preparing for the season. In fact, they’d show up weeks before Spring Training started to get a jump start on their preparation.

Witnessing this helped me realize that you achieve success by trusting the process.

Trusting the process ultimately comes down to two things – preparation and patience. You must be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically in order to play your best baseball when spring rolls around. Patience is important because achieving your dreams doesn’t happen overnight and there are no shortcuts to success at the highest levels of baseball.

As you continue or begin your off-season development, remember to trust the process. There will be exciting days when you crush your personal records and frustrating weeks when you experience plateaus and question everything. Both are important and both are part of the process. Just keep working hard.