Sunday Setting Sights on Success


Another Coaching Goal – Develop Positive Thinking Players


Positive thinking works, at least it did for me. How do I know that? – well, one reason is that I remember the following story to this day and use the idea often because of this story. 


Current Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker was one of my favorite teammates and he taught me the power of positive thinking, when I was a rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dusty use to come up to me, and fellow Dodger rookies, before games and say, “Think 4 today.” At first, we were not sure what he was referring to, until the game came along. After my first at-bat, Dusty would come up and say either, “Think 4” again, when you made a base hit your first at-bat or he would say, “Think 3 today,” when you made out your first at-bat. There was little doubt in my mind that someday, Dusty Baker would move from his playing days to being a leader of men, as a major league manager. 


Power of Positive Thinking


This was an example of positive thinking at its best. Dusty Baker taught me how to look at every game from an offensive mindset by thinking that four hits were not only possible, but to expect to get four hits. So often, players look at one or two hits as a very good day and that is what they set their mind to achieving, when more is possible. When players limit their thinking to less than what is possible, they limit what they achieve. Once a player gets those two hits, they relax and become satisfied, thereby limiting their chances at an even better game.


Good baseball coaches help players develop a positive thinking mindset in the same way that Dusty Baker did for me. Little words of positive-thinking encouragement help players so they do not limit their daily potential, giving them a great outlook not only for baseball but for life, also.


Positive Thinking Coaching Statements


“Think 4”


“Want the ball hit to you”


“It only takes one (pitch)”


“Make your pitch”


“Today is our day”


“Right moment, right player up to bat”


“I wouldn’t want any one else up right now than you”


Of course, the number of positive thinking statements is endless. Coaches, who coach in this encouraging way, set an example for how to play the game and live one’s life, as Dusty Baker did for me.



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