Pay attention to the game at all times. Ask questions to your coaches if you are unsure of terminology, philosophy, or mechanics of different situations. Find the little tendencies and/or weaknesses in your opponents that can give you an advantage when the time comes. Be aware of all things at all times. Know the count, know how many runners are on base, know if the guy on first is fast, know if his ankle is hurting because he was beaned by the pitch in the previous at bat, know that the centerfielder runs like a cheetah but he has a weak arm, know that the third baseman is lazy so you can drop a bunt down, know that the pitcher is timid and doesn’t want to pick off, know that the pitcher hasn’t thrown one curveball for a strike and we are in the fourth inning, know that the catcher likes to back pick to first a lot and know that if you work hard you can get him to throw the ball away down the first baseline. Know everything that is happening in the game. Know that there are No Excuses.
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Invest in YOURSELF
YOU are your best or worst asset. Your attitude, your body, your habits, and your approach to life are the components that make up YOU. Invest in yourself means to make decisions with your health as a top priority. It means that you must allocate your resources towards doing what it takes to make champion choices. Build an ‘invest in yourself” state of mind when it comes to YOUR time, YOUR diet, YOUR habits, and YOUR routine. YOU are the one that should care about YOU the most. Take ownership of your life.
When you take a knee to listen to what coach has to say after the game, take a knee as one unit, not as a bunch of guys with the same uniform on. That means come in close, get close to eachother so that on-lookers see the cohesiveness of your squad. When you are on the field with your team you are on the field with your brothers, your family. In life and in baseball, “no man is an island.” Be someone on your team that consistently keeps your team together as one unit.
TOOF – Think of others first
Life is about your relationships. If you were on this planet alone you would go mentally insane. We all need others in our lives to feel fulfilled and to feel purpose. We all need our teammates in order to have a chance to win games on the field. As people and as teammates we must prioritize the needs of others before our own. We must pick each other up, encourage each other, and be there for one another. Use this amazing acronym as a reminder to consistently work towards thinking of other’s needs first, and then your own. You will inevitably find great reward in this fundamental state of mind.