Saturday, January 30, 2010

Keep it Simple

I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with MLB's reigning American League Manager of the year Mike Scioscia this evening while attending a kick-off dinner for Angels' minor league affiliate, the Orem Owlz. I asked him about his take on the mental side of sports (baseball in particular), and how it affected him as a player and as a coach. His answer was interesting,

"When it comes to the mental aspect of baseball the key is to keep it simple."

What a great thing to remember while striving to perform on purpose, with purpose. I believe that we tend to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be, and as a result we lose focus of the things that matter most which in turn affects our performance. When you fill your mind with information overload you put yourself at greater risk of experiencing what the sport psychology world calls, "paralysis by analysis", which is just a catchy phrase that means you're thinking about doing so many things that you do nothing.

So in your endeavor to perform on purpose, with purpose I would invite you to remember Coach Scioscia's powerful advice: Keep it Simple.

1 comment:

  1. Justin,

    I thought I would share with you the nugget of wisdom I received from Coach Scioscia during the hitting clinic at USL. This is excerpted from my Facebook wall.

    During the Q&A portion of the hitting clinic at Ultimate Sports Lindon, I asked him about kids throwing curve balls at a young age. My intent for asking the question was to solicit a response relative to potential physical damage it can cause and possibly scare Cody away from trying to develop it right now. His response was informative and enlightening to me. (disclaimer: I don't know very much about coaching baseball so to some of you out there you will read this and be like "yeah, no duh Jon")

    He said, in essence, kids that have to rely on a curve ball as a means to strike batters out when they are younger (10,11,12) more often than not won't fully develop the four core fundamentals of pitching. #1-Throw fastballs over the plate, #2-Throw fastballs with pinpoint accuracy anywhere in the strike zone, #3-Throw fastballs with movement, #4-Throw change-ups. This becomes a problem when the kids are in their mid-to-late teens and routinely face hitters who can hit curve balls. By that time it's difficult to develop #2 and #3 and chances are that they never will.