Sunday Setting Sights on Success Tip of the Day Knowing What You Can Control

Many kids set their sights on hitting for a certain average or pitching so many shutouts, etc. It is also common for players to have the hitting goal of two hits a game or pitching goal of so many strikeouts per game.

That is fine as goals help motivate players, but unfortunately, those are not very good goals because players do not have control over those. It is important that young players have realistic goals because many things are out of their hands. For example, once the ball is put in play, the ball is often caught even though it may be hit solidly. The best goals are the ones that set one’s sights on things the player controls and ones that are simple.

Major League Baseball player Dave Philley hold...

Major League Baseball player Dave Philley holds his “Most Valuable Player” trophy, awarded to him in 1955 by the Baltimore Orioles for leading the club that year in hitting (.299 batting avg.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my former major league teammates had the goal of hitting the ball hard seven out of every ten at bats. He figured that if he could do that, his batting average would be at, or slightly above, a .300 average. Kind of depressing in a sense, but the point is that he could only control the first part, hitting the ball hard, so that was a realistic goal. The average would end where it would, based on the law of averages and some luck.

As mentioned, setting the goal of hitting for a .300 average was not his goal. Keeping it simpler, as hitting the ball hard as often as possible, was much better and controllable, to some degree anyway..

It is important that young players have realistic goals because many things are out of their hands. The best goals are the ones that set one’s sights on things the player controls and ones that are simple, not involving uncontrollable statistics.

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