Congrats to the Irvine PONY 9U All-Star on their 1st place finish this past weekend in the Father’s Day Tournament!
And a special congrats to Jack Old (pictured below on the right) for coming through in the clutch during the tournament! Great work Jack!
With the regular season quickly coming to a close for Irvine PONY, I wanted to highlight four of my players who have been selected to be on the All-Star squad for their respective division! Congrats guys!
Congrats to the Old boys! Jack and Lucas Old. I look forward to working with these two guys each week as there is never a dull moment – both are hilarious. They always work hard and most importantly enjoy it! Their hard work both hitting and pitching as paid off – good luck with your All-Star teams!
Congrats to Kellen Howard for making the All-Star squad! Kellen throws some serious heat for a kid his age and backs that up with an above-average change-up. Always great to work with – wish him the best!
Congrats to CJ Burnette for making the All-Star squad! CJ was highlighted earlier this year for his outstanding performance and those types of performances have continued! Best of luck with the All-Stars!!
You often hear people talk about the mental side of the game and how important it is. I don’t disagree at all – I think it is very important. What I don’t agree with is leaving it at that. What does the mental side of the game even mean? For me, it was all about knowing who I was as a player and a person. I am an excitable person. It takes very little stimulus to get me going. So, in college, when I would listen to rock music in my locker before each game I was actually doing more harm than good. I was firing myself up when I should have been calming down my mind. Surprisingly enough, I never truly understood this until one of the best pitching coaches in the game, Brad Holman (now with the Texas Rangers organization) took me into his office after a game in low-A and explained to me that I can’t pitch like a “bull in a china shop”. I was beating myself. I was still getting people out and having a good year, but if I didn’t adjust I would never get to where I wanted to be. It was from that day on that I really started to learn who I was as a pitcher and a player.
Instead of blaring Rage Against the Machine in my headphones, I began reading ‘The Mental ABC’s of Pitching’ by, H.A. Dorfman, before starts. I focused on relaxing my thoughts and focusing my mind, rather than showing everyone how pumped up I was to pitch. Instead of being aggressive, I became assertive. I had a plan on the mound and my focus was to go out and execute that plan.
The big key, though, was I had a plan. For me, the mental side of the game really started with how I prepared for my starts and ended with how I reflected on those starts. I used to journal my starts and would reflect back on the notes prior to facing the same team again. Seems simple, but the result was powerful. I was creating a habit of practicing the mental side of the game. We all know that practices and lessons are filled with physical drills, but rarely do we focus on mental practice. I urge you to start implementing this mental practice into your preparation – whether it be through journaling or some other method.
As a way to help jump start you, I have created both a Pitching and Hitting Journal that you can print out and use for your preparation. Just click on the Team Red link, enter the Members Area and click on the Hitting and Pitching Journal icon in the Premium Downloads section. From there you can print out as many sheets as you need, whenever you need them. They each come with a sample page to help you begin filling them out correctly. Getting into a habit of preparation followed up with reflection really helped me throughout my career and I hope these journals will be a tool to help you out as well.
Tom Oldham Baseball is pleased to announce that the Team RED Player Spotlight is on Irvine PONY Yankee, CJ Burnette. CJ has been a member of Team RED since November of 2010 and has an unbelievable desire to get better and truly has a passion for the game. It is apparent CJ follows through with his lesson homework and puts in the time it takes to develop as a player.
Before he started working with me, CJ had never pitched consistently, but he was eager to learn how to pitch and it is apparent that all the hard work is starting to pay off. CJ has been awarded the Team RED Player Spotlight honors for his pitching performance this past weekend. CJ threw two innings, had 5 K’s and went 3 up and 3 down both innings. He threw a total of 20 pitches; 15 of which were strikes! That’s 75% strikes! Just goes to show when you attack the strike zone good things happen! Congrats CJ! Good luck the rest of the season!
We are always looking for the next best thing and the fastest way to get there. Ever put something together without first reading the directions? Or bought the cheap version of a product only to buy the other version later? We live in a society where we want it fast and we want it now. But, whatever happened to craftsmanship? Quality products last. They endure. They are successful.
Rather you hear about goal setting and the concentration, dedication, evaluation and motivation it took to perfect their craft. They take pride in the process and when all is said and done, the process is what they love. The product is the result of that love.
Words like simple, easy, or streamlined don’t come out of a professional athlete’s mouth. But, hard, frustrating, grueling, and challenging do. And those are usually enthusiastically followed by satisfying, amazing and well worth it.
Goal setting is not easy. But, you don’t want to just get by. You want to succeed.
We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, because we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure. Romans 5:3 (NLT)