8 Hours a Day
My drive to the facility I work out of, Power in Training in Niantic, CT, usually takes 23 minutes from my house. During those 23 minutes, I either go through all the plans I have for lessons or clinics for that night or listen to a podcast. Most of the time the podcasts I listen to are baseball focused, but I'm also a huge fan of Gary Veynerchuk. A mixture between motivation and complete honesty, Gary always brings the heat and challenges his listeners' thinking. Last week I fired up a Gary Vee podcast and my mind has been racing ever since. In the short 4:46 podcast/rank from Gary, he went on to explain that each day is divided into three eight hour chunks to make up the 24 hours in the day. It goes something like this:
1. Sleep for eight hours
2. Go to work/school for eight hours
3. YOUR CHOICE for the remaining eight hours
In the rant, Gary talks about people always making excuses of why they aren't where they want to be because they are "too busy" or the ageless excuse of "I just don't have time." Listening to this, I immediately connected it to the baseball and softball world of players who all want to play in college and professionally, but trick themselves into thinking they are actually making a true commitment to their craft.
Baseball is such an all-encompassing sport because there is so much that goes into it: lifting, mobility work, hitting, fielding, prehab, mental work, etc. For most high school players who come into a training facility like ours, they maybe come in once a week a month or two before the season starts; and, of course, all think they are going to play in college. We will assume that most are spending time on homework and some are playing different sports (which I love), but what are all the rest of these kids doing with their free eight hours a day? Hmm...let's take some guesses: Fortnite, scrolling through Instagram, taking stupid Snapchats, watching TV, and going on YouTube. I'm not here to knock social media and watching a screen, but when a player says that they want to play in college, they better be using their eight hours a day committed to getting better than the day before. What if the player committed HALF of those eight hours to working out, getting swings in, and taking care of their body? The remaining four hours are left over to play Fortnite - or listen to a podcast, meditate, or read.
It's no coincidence that the best players are usually the hardest workers. As the off-season is now in full swing, ask yourself if you are really giving everything you have to your dreams of playing at the next level. I understand that not every player has the means to come into a facility for instruction, but almost all have the ability to get their work in outside or in their basement. Each day, you're either getting better or you're getting worse - you're never staying the same.
If you want to be the next Mike Trout, you have to be willing to put in the work to even have a chance. In an article from the Orlean Times Herald, Trout's high school summer coach, Jay Weitzel, recounts a story from 5:30AM on a sticky Florida morning when Trout was just sixteen years old. Trout was not in his room when his coach went around in the morning to make sure all were present. Instead, Trout was in the cage taking hacks off the tee. Weitzel's story perfectly illustrates the best player in the game making the most of his eight hours:
“Well, when I walk over there, I’m positive, he’s going to be snoring,” Weitzel recalled. “I’m positive…because that’s what kids do. They can’t do anything on their own. I get over there, and I had to give the dude a towel to wipe himself off because he was hitting off a tee. That was the thing…this kid dared to put in loads of work in trying to get better. He always smiled, he always wanted to be there. He enjoyed being there. I tried to work the smiles off his face; I couldn’t do it.” This is one of the best players in the entire world refusing to let a minute slip by. While the rest of his teammates were sleeping, he was putting in work.
Being successful, like most things in life, just comes down to making a commitment and acting on it. If you want to be great, you have to be willing to put the work in to be great on a daily basis. If you want to be like 99% of players who put in work every now and then and spend more time playing video games, that is totally fine, but just know that what you put in is what you get out. Eight hours a day turns into 40 hours a week which turns into 160 hours a month which turns into 2,080 hours a year. It's up to each one of us to decide how we use those hours and evaluate if how we are using them is bringing us closer or farther away from our goals.