These tips are for coaches, parents, and players to help guide young athletes to understand the meaning and value of hard work and to be hungry and motivated to make it to the next level of baseball and life. Aka #GettinMADE
Each of the MADEisms in this book is categorized into a life pillar.
The 5 life pillars consist of the following:
1-Attitude and awareness 2-Family 3-Fitness/Nutrition 4-Academics 5-Baseball Training
In order to maximize your performance and feel your best on and off the field, you must begin your training with the way in which you approach your training.
In order to be successful in anything in life you must show up EVEryday. With true commitment comes many sacrifices that will need to be MADE along the way. If you don't show up, then success will never come. If you do show up EVEryday and you commit yourself to your cause, success is inevitable. Do not allow excuses to be part of your make up as a person or a player.
You must have an attitude of gratitude in your process. The true champions find joy in the littlest of details.
“STOP making excuses for yourself, START deciding you can do it.”
Its too hot. My toe hurts. I don’t have time.
“Erase the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.”
Seriously. Stop saying “can’t.” Nobody wants to hear what you can’t do.
"Excellence is not an act, it is a habit." -Aristotle
We are not on this planet to simply exist. We are here to live life to the fullest and to be excellent. It is important that we create excellent habits and be excellent people on an EVEryday basis.
“Get Better EVEryday...Live Like a Champion." -Isaac Hess
This is our translation of Aristotle's quote above. We use the word champion in our vocabulary often because we aspire to live like champions, we play the game to be champions, and to win championships. Our common goal is to Get Better EVEryday, to Live Like Champions, and to be better than the other team on any given day. We know we must work hard in order to achieve this feat consistently. It begins with being a better version of ourself each day, from the moment that we wake up.
"MADE = Motivation, Appreciation, Dedication, EVEryday.”
This acronym is the name, foundational attitude, and platform of our program. It is not just for baseball people, it is for all people. We all need to Get MADE on a daily basis. It is important to see the value in each day that we have and to live wholeheartedly on and off the field. Motivation to get better today upon waking up, Appreciation for the opportunity to wake up and live today, Dedication to achieving our goals, EVEryday. This attitude elevates our game and ourselves on a daily basis.
“Use it as a reason, not as an excuse.”
We all deal with bad situations as well as results, ALL OF US. It is not just you that is having a difficult time with what you are going through, whether it be struggling at the plate, or having trouble with one of the important relationships in your life.
Once we realize that everything will always be ok as long as we have a champion attitude, then we begin to use the negative that occurs in our life as a catalyst to spark positive change. When we dwell on situations we make excuses, when we stand up, act like a champion, and use what is happening as a reason to do something positive then we begin change the world around us one day at a time.
"Strive for 4.0(GPA) excellence."
If you had the choice between going 2-4 with two singles or 4-4 with two doubles, a homerun, and a single, which one would you choose? So, if you can choose between skating by and getting a 3.0 GPA or being a stud that works hard in every class to achieve a 4.0 GPA, which one would you choose? With sub par performance in school, you will pave your future's path with sand. By working as hard in school as you do on the field your future will be paved with concrete and you will walk the path you choose. You must want to win in the classroom just as much as you want to win in a baseball game. Do your absolute best in everything you touch, and be a stone cold champion in all you do academically...its that simple.
"ALWAYS look your coach in the eye."
Nothing frustrates a coach more than a player who can't look him in the eye, especially if it happens consistently. Even if you are the worst player on the field, looking your coach in the eye consistently shows that you know how to respect your elders, and it shows that you are focused, and that you have a desire to get better and a desire to learn. The respect that you show in doing so will put you in a better position to succeed on your team regardless of the level you are playing.
When you look your coach in the eye you show him that he has 100% of your undivided attention. Part of looking your coach in the eye is in the way you take a knee when he is addressing the team. You need to look strong and focused, not weak and distracted. You should sit up tall on your knee, not slouched down looking at the ground and twiddling with the grass. This is another one of the little things in baseball that makes a BIG difference in how any coach will see you.
Be the guy that only has to be told something once and that does his best to make that adjustment immediately. Sometimes it can be difficult to make adjustments that the coach is asking you to make because it feels awkward or different than what you are used to. This is natural. When you show the coach that you are willing to listen and that you want to learn, you will help yourself and you will help your team.
“Be a champion…TODAY."
Another positive phrase to remind yourself how you want to live. More fuel for your subconscious. In all situations, "Be a champion TODAY."
"How bad do you want it!?"
One of the most critical questions you should ask yourself on a regular basis with regards to whatever it is that you are setting out to do. You need to continue to appreciate the processes of the grind involved in dedicating yourself to achieving something. If you are not present with your consistent desire to accel, be it in baseball or life, then you must assess and adjust your routines accordingly.
You never know what will happen in your life and who will be here tomorrow. If you know that you will make the most of each and EVEryday that you have, then you will always do your part to authentically appreciate your time, do everything in your power to accomplish your goals, and consistently strive to do all things that you decide you are capable of and want to do.
Be terrific. Be amazing. Be wonderful. Be excited to be alive, on the field, in the clubhouse, where ever! If someone calls you and asks you how you are doing don’t tell them you are fine. Tell them you are amazing. You are contributing to the energy around you, to your performance as a person, and it will help you when you are on the field. You choose how you feel.
“What did you eat for breakfast TODAY."
Breakfast is one of the first choices of the day. Do you want to high five your body with something optimal, healthy, and delicious, or do you want to slap it across the face with something that simply tastes good? Research different food options to make champion choices for breakfast. It all counts.
"Be a student of the game.”
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.
“Healthy is Wealthy.”
Prioritize your health above all things. The richest man in the world cannot buy health. Be a fan of yourself and your cause. Like yourself. Make champion choices regarding your routine of exercise, diet, relationships, and time management. Maintain a balance in your life and prioritize your family always.
“Attitude is EVErything."
Your attitude is the most valuable resource you have on this planet and in this life. Your attitude will always over ride the outcome. Your attitude dictates everything in your life. When you practice having a champion's attitude about all situations and always doing your absolute best to make champion choices, the only possible outcomes will be positive and you will always experience growth and fulfillment.
Be superman when it comes to your diet. Be ruthless. Eat stuff that doesn't taste good sometimes, because you know how amazingly nutritious it is for your body. Stop being so scared to try stuff. If you don't like it, but you know that it is very nutritious ie; brussel sprouts, brocolli, etc, then figure out a way to like it, train your brain. Your life depends on it. Your brain needs it. Your organs gotta have it. Learn how to eat it. Learn to love it. This aspect of being an athlete is one that is always in your control if you choose to make it a top priority.
“Listen to your body. Respect what it tells you."
Have a profound respect for your body. Realize that it is your most important asset and resource in the world. This realization is crucial to performing at optimal levels and fulfilling your potential as a player and person. Respect your body. Push your body. Get the most that you can out of your body. Know how your body is aligned, see your alignment in the mirror. Stretch a lot. Give your body the respect it deserves.
“If you want something bad enough, the universe conspires to help you get it."
One of the best and truest quotes ever written. If you really want it, you can get it. Everyone's definition of the word "really" is subject to individual perception. The beauty is in the process, not the outcome. Work towards your goals with a vigor, and you will accomplish them. The universe will see to it...your attitude is everything. ————
To be a quality baseball player or athlete one must be the aggressor in just about all situation ON THE FIELD. You must be confident in your attitude, your work ethic, your will, and your ability to execute, especially when the game is on the line. Charge the ball aggressively, be ready to hit the first pitch fastball, and attack hitters when you are on the mound.
By simply having the state of mind that you will be aggressive at the plate, on the mound, and in the field, you will increase your level of success tremendously. As soon as you cross the white lines, battle has commenced. YOU WILL NEVER WIN BY BEING TIMID!
Practice the way you shake hands. Be a man about it if you are shaking a man's hand and be a gentleman about it when shaking a woman's hand. Be aware of your handshake and be proud of it. It is your first opportunity to show another teammate, a collegue, or even a new friend, that you are here and that you are confident. NO WET FISH!
"Build your battleship."
You come to the ball park a canoe....you need to build your battleship EVEryday. We use this analogy to create a proper thought process and recognition of the importance of our preparation routine, physically, mentally, and mechanically.
Close your eyes and picture a canoe in water with a big canon placed inside of it, then picture the canon being fired. What happens to the canoe? It becomes a bunch of toothpicks and kindling wood floating on that lake. Each day you come to the ball park, your arm is a canon, and your body is a canoe. You must build a battleship through a series of champion, dynamic exercises, "Battle Preparation" along with the throwing program called the BCD's or Brain Conditioning Drills. Both the physical preparation and the mechanical drills during the BCD's throwing program will help you to become polished and aware of the necessary adjustments you need to make in order to keep improving.
"Fall in Love with the process.”
Sometimes we don't like to go to practice and sometimes we don't feel like working out. We must realize that this periodic lack of desire or motivation is part of the human growth process. It is necessary to always show up. Showing up is half the battle in anything we do in life. Our ability to embrace the negative seeming aspects of our routines and to complete them with willingness and grace will consistently elevate us as athletes and people.
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.
“It's not a sprint...it's a marathon."
Baseball is built around failing. The most successful hitters in the game of baseball fail 70% of the time. The best baseball players have the same demeanor after a game regardless of if they went 4-4 and hit for the cycle or went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts. A major league season consists of 162 games, and in order to be a true professional you must never let a bad at-bat or a bad game get you overly down, and on the flip side you must never let a good game let you get overly excited. You will get another chance. Even keel EVEryday.
"Separate yourself from the pack...Be different."
Stop worrying about what other people think. Be yourself, be bold enough to be different, on and off the field. Have confidence in knowing that you believe in yourself and you are rooted in integrity. When you are different in a positive way, and you truly do not let the thoughts of other dictate your actions, you will see people soon follow you.
“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.
“Control what you can control.”
In baseball we have to hit a round ball with a round bat. If and/or when we make it to the big leagues, we will have approximately .3 seconds to do so(assuming a 90mph fastball). Often times, being unsuccessful at the plate or on the mound will feel like it is out of our control. This is natural because baseball success is built around responding to failure. When we control what we can control, ie; sprinting on and off the field EVERY INNING, having an excellent attitude, picking up our team mates being a student of the game, etc. we are are able to elevate our level of play because we are putting ourselves in a better position to bounce back. Not only that, by controlling what we can control, we are showing our resilience in the face of adversity...something any and all college coaches and pro scouts want to see.
A lot of people that are unfamiliar with yoga write it off as simply stretching. This misperception of what yoga truly embodies is unfortunate because the innocent ignorance keeps so many people from experiencing the infinite benefits that come from the practice. In yoga, you never reach the peak, you never "get there," you simply show up and practice and stay in love with the process of Getting Better EVEryday...mentally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spirtually.
"My yoga practice has been a bedrock in my baseball career, my life, and my physical, mental, and spiritual fortitude. Without the introduction of yoga into my life's path, I don't believe that I would have been able to play professional baseball with a total hip replacement for as long as I have, if at all. The physical benefits of the practice are only the start of the good that yoga embodies. The mental strength that I have gained because of yoga's presence in my life has been something I am unable to put a price on. 'Infinite' is the word I use to associate it with the most."
-Isaac Hess 7 years professional pitcher with over 700 innings pitched, all with a total hip replacement at the age of 19, and the only player in the history of the game to achieve this feat
“Be an ATHLETE.”
Always work on improving your athleticism in all physical drills and/or exercises you perform. DO NOT HALF A$$ IT and DO NOT SIMPLY GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS!!! The movements that you make on the field in practice should be calculated and intentful so that you are more athletic and reactionary when it comes to the same situations you encounter during the game. Be precise in your exercises and drills, think "gracefully robotic". Do things with a purpose and an intention.
“Build your championship routine."
Being a champion starts with having a championship routine. You day-to-day routine from the time that you wake up until the time that you go to sleep will dicate who you are as an athlete and as a person. It is important to be aware of your tendencies and your habits, and to make sure that you consistently adjust and improve your routine. ALWAYS SECOND GUESS YOUR ROUTINE...not from the standpoint that you are always doing something wrong, but from the standpoint that you can always improve.
“Write it down!”
Write down your goals. Write down your workout regimens. Write down what you did to get better this week. Write down what you need to do in school today in order to ensure that you are consistently striving for a 4.0 GPA. WRITE IT DOWN. If you don't write it down, the chances are it won't get done. Get in the habit.
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.
"Be a Leader."
...In everything that you do. Go about your business with a leader's state of mind. Lead yourself first, and others will follow your champion ways. Be bold in your actions and be confident in all that you do. College coaches and pro scouts are not looking for followers, they are looking for LEADERS.
"Its not how you start, its how you finish."
Finish strong. Don't run as hard as you can for a mile only to pull up on the last couple feet. Burst through the line with vigor, energy, and poise. The last inning is always the hardest to get through...you MUST FINISH STRONG. Discipline and focus on a daily basis creates champions that get stronger as the game, and life, progresses.
“Attack. Respond. Compete. Hustle"
Four of our favorite words...
Attack - be a warrior and attack the field with full force. Respond - The college coaches and scouts don't care that you struck out or that you made a physical error, they care about the way in which you carry yourself and respond to your failure. Every time you fail on the field you need to learn from your mistake and respond like a Champion for the next opportunity. When a ball goes between your legs, you must ask the baseball God's for another ground ball on the NEXT PITCH! Compete - be a bull dog...fear does not have a place in the heart of a winner. Hustle - if there is one thing in the game of baseball and life that you can truly control it is the amount of hustle that you put forth. Sometimes you will fail, but you can ALWAYS CHOOSE to hustle as hard as you can, EVEryday.
In the MADE program we have accountability partners. For the first half of the season, our accountability partner is a teammate, in the second half of the season our partner is the person we see in the mirror, ourself. First we learn how to help our teammates stay accountable in their weekly Get Better routine. We write down what our partner did that week relative to the following categories...
1) Baseball - doing learned drills on your own at home, studying the game, etc 2) Fitness - MADE Crush sessions, stretching consistently, yoga, hiking, etc 3) Nutrition - Water EVEryday, no soda! Protein, vegetables, lead by example in your household and amongst your peers 4) Academics - study for a test, ace a test, ask for extra credit, lead by example 5) Family member - help your parents around the house without being told, be a productive, supportive, and quality member of your family, lead by example
After we learn what it means to hold each other accountable for their actions in the first half of the season, we become our own accountability partner. In the second half of the season we learn what it takes to be accountable for our own actions and we realize that we determine our own success.
"Play for something bigger than yourself."
If you are really going to compete in anything, you need to have a reason to go out and give it all you've got on an EVEryday basis. This goes beyond the reason of it just being fun to play. As you get older, your passion must connect with a purpose that is bigger than yourself. You get to decide whatever that means to you.
Hiking is one of the best fitness activities any athlete or person can do. The more challenging the hike is, the more accomplishment and gratitude you will feel once you reach the top. Not only is a hike, such as Camelback mountain, rigorous and physically challenging, it is an opportunity to be in nature and appreciate the outdoors. Reaching the top never gets old...remember though, its not how you start! Its how you finish!
Separate yourself from the pack by practicing the discipline of sweating EVEryday. You will see great benefit in sport, fitness, and life. Learn what it takes to reach your next level(over and over again) when it comes to working out. You don't need a gym, all you need is the motivation to get better. You need to Get MADE.
...In all you do. Expect excellence from yourself and do what it takes to consistently achieve your goals. Be ruthless about being a great teammate and a great person. Be ruthless about being the best student you can be day in and day out. Be ruthless about your work ethic and perfecting your craft. Be ruthless in your commitment to your team and to your baseball and life journey.
“Do ALL of the little things right."
Baseball is a hard sport. You are trying to hit a round ball with a round bat. The chances are, if you hit .300 over the duration of a career you will probably make it to the hall of fame. That means that the best hitters in the game actually fail 70% of the time! What do hall of famers do right consistently? The little things. We have listed many of the little things amongst this MADE-isms list. Sprinting on and off the field every inning you play the game, looking the coach in the eye, doing what you are told to do and doing more, showing that you want it, responding to failure...these are just some of the things that mold average players into champions. The reason they become champions is because doing the little things right is engrained in their game. These players are the type of players you usually want to have the ball when the game is on the line. They are clutch players because they prepare themselves for their opportunities.
SPEAK UP. Use your words confidently. Practice it, think about it, do it. It is important that you speak confidently, clearly, and concisely in a manner that consistently earns you respect amongst your peers. And have fun doing it!
It is ok if you are a quiet, more reserved person off the field. Once you are on the field, BE LOUD! The baseball field is not a place for those that are timid or shy, at least for those that want to be winners. Be vocal with your teammates and communicate with them pitch after pitch. The more you talk it up in the dugout the more likely you will be focused when it is your turn to help the team. When you are vocal in the right ways you show leadership over those that are too shy to speak up. This is something that you can control on an EVEryday basis.
Regardless of how well you are doing, act like you have done it before and be humble about your success. Your sportsmanship needs to be the best in the league EVEryday. Practice humility in your family, in your game, in your school, and in your life. Lead by example.
No matter what it is...you can do it. The word can't does not exist in the language of MADE. When you align with the concept of infinity, you prioritize the process over the result. Your ability to take quantum leaps lies within you. Find it. Embrace it. Practice it. EVEryday of your life!