Work Ethic and Mental Toughness

by Brian Rhone

Work Ethic and Mental Toughness:

Strength.  Speed. Agility.  Hand-Eye Coordination. Tenacity. …..When players and coaches talk about how to be a good baseball player they usually talk about the qualities listed above.  Work Ethic and Mental Toughness (to me) are the best qualities a baseball player can have. Without these 2 qualities, one cannot succeed at this game. Baseball is the HARDEST game in the world. You can be on a baseball field 24/7, 7 days a week and still not learn everything about this game. Trust me, I am still learning things about the game and I’ve been playing for 20 years but I can tell you this: there was no one who would be able to work harder than me.  I had my ups and downs throughout my college career but I can always look back and say that I worked harder than anyone else out there. The game of baseball doesn’t owe a thing to anyone. You have to go out there and earn everything you get. Work harder than the next guy and (trust me) you will find success at the end of the day.

What is work ethic? To me, work ethic is having that drive and determination to get up every day and say to myself, “How will I get better today?”  Success is not just going to come overnight, you have to work at your skills day in and day out or you will not reach your full potential .A baseball player must condition themselves mentally to be able to sacrifice things that you WANT and do things that you NEED. The player may WANT to sleep in till 12:00pm and play video games but you NEED to get up and work on your skills. Whatever they might be (fielding, hitting, speed etc.…). Being able to get up every day and have that drive to get better is what work ethic is all about.  Often, players confuse what work ethic really is and fall into bad routines. Having a good work ethic doesn’t mean that you go to the cages every day and go through the motions. I had a coach that use to tell me all the time that PRACTICE DOESN’T MAKE PERFECT INSTEAD, HE SAID, PERFECT PRACTICE WILL MAKE PERFECT. Go to the cages every day with a purpose and know exactly what you are going to work on.

Mental Toughness is the second quality you MUST have to succeed in this game. Going up to the plate and being able to mentally visualize that hit you are going to get or that play you are going to make in the field.  Mental toughness is having that confidence that you WILL make every play in the field and you WILL go 4-4 today with 4 homeruns.  Mental toughness is also being able to come back from giving up a homerun and striking the next guy out or making the next play in the field after a bad error. Saying to myself that I am better than the next guy and I will win a starting spot on the team is what mental toughness is all about. The game of baseball (to me) is 50% mental and 50% physical. To be able to succeed, you need to be in the right mindset.  I had a coach once say to me (before a big a bat) that this is the at bat that counts. It doesn’t matter that you struck out 3 times in your last 3 at bats, the 4th at bat was the biggest one and I hit a walk off single. The Ct Bombers Baseball Program is a very demanding one. We take great pride in our development of taking an average player, over a period of time, to a player who will continue his career in college. That is what the Bombers program is all about.

The Batter’s Box private lessons offer an intrinsic learning environment for the athlete who WANTS to get better. Essentially, the athlete must know WHY he/she is doing the drills. The drills I run during my private lessons are designed to make the athlete actually think the game of baseball. If the athlete doesn’t know WHY he/she is doing the drill then it is useless. My hope is that my athletes take the drills learned and do them by their selves. Learning these drills WILL NOT come easy overnight. You must work hard day in and day out and you will see these drills make your game better! Through work ethic, determination, and mental toughness, you will be able to have a trustworthy process to follow if done correctly.