As I look back on my career and think about the years I was more successful then the others there is one major thing that separated those years. This one thing is so important but is so easy to forget and/or overlook. You may not even know or even stop to think you are creating it.
When I talked to the most successful players in the the Orioles organization about how to get to the big leagues and how they got to where they were at more times than not they mention it. When you hear guys talk about what has enabled them to over come the hurdle of getting sent back and forth from the “show” to the minors, it seems to be mentioned all the time.
And what is “this” that I am talking about? It’s a ROUTINE.
A routine could be the most important part of a players game. Outside of the physical skill and talent which all professional baseball players have, it seems to be that a routine is the “thing” that separates players who bounce up and down from the big league to the minors and from the A-ball players to the Triple-A players. Building a routine, which includes when you eat, when you workout, when you sleep, when you watch video, when you warm-up, and so on, allows your body and brain to be prepared on a daily basis. Having a routine allows you to build consistency in your daily life which will propel you to be consist on the field.
I remember like it was yesterday. Reading an article about Max Scherzer and how he has been so dominate over the last 4+seasons. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was his routine. The day he pitched he had a certain routine. The day after he pitched he had a certain routine. The second day after an outing he had a routine, and so on until the day he pitched again. The most impressive part about his routine is the fact that he spends about 10-15 min before the game working on varying his time to the plate while going through his delivery.
Baseball is a game that is built on consistency and repetition. You want to play college baseball at a high level, be consistent. You want to play professional baseball, be consistent. You want to make it to the big league be more consistent. You want to stay in the big leagues, be even more consistent. Keeping a routine in a game that is based on repetition and consistency over a 7 month period can be extremely hard to keep up. That’s why it is very important to learn at an early age or early in your career how to build and live by a routine.
Routines are not just part of being a great athlete but part of living a successful life. We all live by some sort of routine. And through this routine we are building habits. The question is, is your current routine going to lead you where you want to go? I challenge you to ask yourself that question and answer honestly. And if your answer is no, then its time to align your routine up with your dreams and goals.