It’s easy to get caught up in short term success. Which totally makes sense and reminds me of that study where researched polled people to see if they would prefer $5 now or $50 in five years? Almost everyone will take the money now. Same thing goes for success.
When it comes to your baseball career, I urge you to turn down the $5 now and wait for the big pay day. Here’s why…
You can do things to be “success” now that will not be scaleable in your long term success in this game.
Now, what do I mean by “scaleable”? It means tools and skills that will play at the HS, college, and professional level.
For example, hitting the ball on the ground is an AWESOME strategy at the younger levels. I saw a stat that batted balls, in play, at the Little League level resulted in a .600+ batting average.
Great odds right there!
However, batting average on ground balls drops drastically to .238 (2008-present) at the MLB level.
Why the drastic difference in batting average? Defense and overall player athleticism improves tremendously as players get older (the Royals currently have only 40 errors thru 101 games played this year). Not to mention that between the small dimensions and short base paths, a Little League field is built for offense.
So hitting ground balls is a perfect example of a “success now” skill, but NOT a scaleable skill long term because it will not remain an effective strategy as you get older.
Ingraining a swing that produces a high percentage of ground balls may be good for youth baseball, but it will fail you when it truly matters. The numbers don’t lie, in fact, they’re very clear.
So before you practice something, whether it be a swing or a defensive play, ask yourself if this is something that will play as the competition gets better.
Build scaleable skills rather than chase short term success. Be obsessed.
PS-Hit line drives…they play at all levels ;).
Director of Baseball
Maplezone Sports Institute