Our 2015 series on learning baseball from those who teach it best continues with this week’s feature on being offensively sound…from University of Dayton coach, Tony Vittorio.

In this article I am going to get off the beaten path of teaching the fundamentals or processes of the game of baseball.  Or am I?  I feel that baseball players, coaches, teachers, parents, etc. could take a great amount of information from this article.  

5/20/5

Here is what statistics tell me.  Out of a 30 man roster on our baseball team, five of them are going to be above average, 20 are going to be average, and five are going to be below average.  I am talking not only in baseball but also in life.  More than likely, the above average guys are going to remain above average.  They have simply made that choice.  The below average guys are somehow going to find their way out of the organization either by their choice or by the leader of the organizations choice.  Through time they simply do not last.  The key is to see how many of the average guys are going to become above average within an organization.  Whatever category that you or your people are going to fit in is nothing but a choice or a decision.  That is it!  It absolutely takes zero talent to be an above average person.  It is a choice and each and every person within the organization decides who and what they want to be.  Most people have chosen to be average or mediocre.

****The Truth****
It’s simply your decision to choose to be above average,
average, or below average.

The way we are evaluated in our life is simply by the decisions that we make.

Ball or Strike – Fair or Foul – Safe or Out – Win or Lose – Right or Wrong.  There are no grey areas within these words.  Two simple words – DO RIGHT!  If you think it is wrong then it is wrong.  It takes a long time to build a good reputation and a short instance to destroy it.

****The Truth****
Make good decisions – DO RIGHT!

Here is another way to look at the choice.

JELLY BEAN, MARSHMALLOW, ROCK

Let’s face it.  Which one are you?  Are you a jelly bean, marshmallow, or a rock?  What in the world am I talking about?  Here it is!

What is a jelly bean? Put a jelly bean between your fingers and squish it.  What happens?  It crushes and becomes flat.  There is no way that you will get that round object to look the way it originally looked.  Take out a lighter and set the jelly bean on fire.  What happens?  It melts.  You will never see that jelly bean again.

What is a marshmallow?  Put a marshmallow between your fingers and squish it.  What happens?  That marshmallow becomes flat.  After it becomes flat, it starts shaping back into form.  It eventually will come back.  Take a lighter and set the marshmallow on fire.  What happens?  The outside burns.  Blow out the fire.  The insides still stay intact.

What is a rock?  Put a rock between your fingers and try to squish it.  Good luck.  That rock is not budging.  Take a lighter and try to set the rock on fire.  Good luck.  That rock will be able to take that heat.

Which one are you?  Majority are going to be marshmallows.  They will be soft at times but will be able to come back.  They will get burnt at times but will be able to bounce back.  During the time that they are coming back maybe they are losing precious time of becoming the best that they possible can become.

****THE TRUTH****
We need more ROCKS!

Whatever you choose to be is what you will be.  We need more people to choose to be above average.  We need more people to be rocks.  Let’s face it, we are all in search of happiness.  Wouldn’t life be more rewarding if we made the decision to be above average and a rock?

Until next time………

Tony Vittorio
Baseball Coach
University of Dayton

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