I find it almost funny sometimes that athletes think they can put in work 1-2 days a week and be great. Sure, there are some natural athletes with God given talent that were born to throw 98mph. But that is a rarity. If you’re not willing to put the time in, you can’t expect to achieve the results you desire. Not all days are easy and it’s the days that are tough, the ones you have to grind through, that reveal what type of athlete you are.
Baseball traveling teams, or “Travel Ball” as it is commonly referred to, has a lot of positives and negatives. I often get a lot of questions from parents who have athletes anywhere from 9 years old to 18 years old. The most common question is: Should I sign my child up for Travel Ball?
We’ll start by talking about mechanics. You may or may not be familiar with Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000 hours theory. In short, his theory is that you master a skill by putting in a minimum of 10,000 hours directed to that particular skill. So in this case, if you wanted to master your mechanics, you would have to put in 10,000 hours towards solely working on your mechanics.
One thing I’d like to talk about is the simple phrase, “Aim to your target.” I can’t stand the word aim. Yes, in theory it sounds great. Aim small, miss small. I get it. But when pitchers are developing, sometimes it has the opposite effect. When we aim, there are times when we subconsciously slow our body down. We may even push the ball at times. We care so much about aiming at the target that we forget the most basic principle in baseball; THROW THE BALL.
Great pitchers have great tempo. They control the game, get into a good rhythm, and have a great mound presence. Tempo is what keeps the game moving and helps rid the feeling of the game dragging on and on. Your team feeds off that and it helps them focus better both offensively and defensively.