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  • Writer's pictureWayne Mazzoni

Finding And Keeping Your Motivation

Just about everyone would like to be more motivated in the way they prepare for the upcoming season. This is never more important than in the winter months when the weather turns for the worse and the days on the field can seem distant.


However, this is the time when you can make the most improvement both in your strength and in your skill. During the season, generally you are what you are and it becomes time to compete with what you have. The sport shifts to more about mental improvement than picking up speed on your fastball, or improving your home-to-first time.


Yet we all can face challenges staying motivated during this time. Here are a few thoughts that can help you stay on track throughout the winter.


Measurement

Let’s face it, baseball is a numbers game. Batting averages, fielding percentages, ERAs, 60 times, radar readings, etc. So you should make your training the same way; it should have something you can measure. This can be strength related, velocity related or even some creative way. For example, if you have access to a medicine ball and a gym, you can measure how far you can throw the ball from a side toss, overhead, etc. As you gain in strength and technique, you will be motivated as you see the improved results. The same can be said of your body weight/fat. The results are trackable and measurable to let you know if you are doing the right things.


Accountability

It helps to have a coach or a friend or friends to help keep you on track. So if you can find a strength trainer or nutritionist, hitting or pitching coach, this can help hold you accountable to your improvement. Further, having a hitting group, throwing group, sprinting group, any group, can help make you feel more responsible for showing up and giving your best when you are there. If you don’t believe me, see how much weight you push around in the weight room alone, then with a friend, then when you are with a group of friends. There is energy with people, so use it to your advantage. You can take that further by creating some prizes and a competition among friends. Could be a speed outcome goal, strength, batting average, strikeouts, etc. You name it. One thing our strength coach at Sacred Heart University does is have players pick weight and body fat goals and then post those goals along with a shirtless picture as their Facebook profile picture. Talk about accountability.


Habits equal change

The fact is the habits we create lead to who we are. Smoking, a bad habit, often leads to physical illness. Whereas the habit of doing yoga three times a week leads to wellness. Getting rid of bad habits or creating ones is often a step-by-step process. For example, if you get a bagel smothered with butter as your daily breakfast, it may not work to go to egg whites, fruit and water just because you know you should eat better. Try making small changes each week. So first week, make the bagel whole wheat. Second week, turn the butter to low fat. Third week, butter half of it. Fourth week, eat half the bagel and fruit. And so forth until you are eating the breakfast you want.

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