How important is the right gear?
To answer that question, let me put it this way ….
If you want to excel at anything, you have to have these four things:
And most importantly, they stay in that order of importance!
Let’s take each one individually and apply it to baseball.
Mindset. Baseball is a very tough game that is designed to wear you out physically and mentally over the course of a long season. That’s why major leaguers refer to the “grind” of the season. The game grinds you up and spits you out. Even the stars. To handle this, you better have the right mindset or all the tactics, skills, and expensive gear in the world will not amount to much. Having the mindset of “I don’t care what walls the game or people put in front of me … I don’t care how worn down and tired my body is … I don’t care how poorly I did yesterday … I am going to prevail and no person or thing is going to stop me” will overcome a ton of shortcoming in all the other areas.
Tactics. Over half the battle when teaching players the game is getting them to do the right thing in the right place at the right time. What base to throw to… What base to cover and when to get there… What angle to round the base to put yourself in a position to take another one if the ball is bobbled… What angle is best when covering first base…. All these things are tactics and you don’t need a ton of skill to get them right.
Skills. It is great to have incredible natural talent but we all know that’s not enough. High schools and colleges are filled with incredible athletes who don’t go anywhere. Players just need “enough” skills to keep up with the speed of the game at whatever level they are on. I’ll take a lineup filled with kids with lower natural skills but tremendous mindset and tactical knowledge of the game over any talented and mentally soft kids.
Gear. This is last for a reason. Skip over the first three and the $300 bat and glove are pretty much worthless. So is the Under Armour and the batting gloves. The player may look like a good player but they won’t fool people who know the game for very long.
Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball gear just like other baseball nuts. Checking out the latest spikes or bats or tees or outerwear is right up my alley. I can’t get enough. But if you are like me when it comes to checking out gear, just make sure you keep gear in its proper spot in the order.
Which is in the four spot.
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