Coach Bob Starkey always shares so many good things with us on @LSUCoachStarkey. Here’s yet another… Safe travels this July coach.
Kids who fantasize about playing in The Show dream of batting .350, hitting 75 home runs, throwing a no-hitter, or getting the game-winning hit in the seventh game of the World Series. Not many kids go to the ballpark and dream of having a good at-bat or an excellent workout in the bullpen. Yet it is learning how to readjust smaller goals that makes the mighty dreams possible. The best professional players discover that goal-setting is about taking charge of those elements a player can control. A player cannot control whether he hits .350, but he can control whether he has a good at-bat and swings at pitches he can drive. A pitcher cannot control whether a batter gets jammed and bloops a hit, but he can control whether he puts in effective work in the bullpen and whether he maintains his concentration on the mound.
“Numbers—I never look at them. I don’t like them,” shortstop Nomar Garciaparra told Baseball Weekly’s Seth Livingstone. In September 1980, Kansas City’s George Brett got the baseball world buzzing with the possibility of his reaching .400 for the first time since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. The Royals were in a pennant race, and Brett was hitting to win. “Every time up, I was just trying to give out club the kind of at-bat the situation called for,” Brett said. But the night we wrapped up our division, I thought, ‘Hey, I’m close enough. I’m going to go for it. I didn’t have to try to hit .400.’ That was the day things fell apart. I didn’t have many good at-bats when I started concentrating on getting hits.”
Focusing on the job at hand, and on the elements that a player can control, leads to reaching the great goals. Reaching then excelling, in these individual points builds a player’s confidence. The secret is the specifics: do the individual elements correctly and they will lead to greater achievement. The individual, specific goals—journey goals—are what lead to reaching the highest goals—destination goals. Only be mastering the journey goals can you reach the destination.
by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller