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July 06, 2000


     Randy is currently the best pitcher in the National League. He will be a sure fire Hall of Famer someday.  Several weeks ago, the Sunday paper ran an interview with Randy that had some quite interesting information in that we can use.

     In past seasons, on two different occasions, Randy found himself going into the 9nth inning having struke out 19 opposing batters. There are only 24 outs in a 9 inning game, so that in itself was quite a feat, but Randy wanted the record, 20 strikeouts.

     Each time he went into the 9th inning thinking in his mind - I want the 20th strikeout.

     He failed both times!

     Why?  Lets listen to what he says. "Instead of focusing on making one pitch at a time, I was thinking strikeout."

     Now how does this apply to us? Does that mean we shouldn't think about our goals?

     You all know how I've stressed setting those goals. The most successful athletes always set goals before the season begins.

     On game day, Randy won't talk to anyone, he puts those headphones on and Focuses his Attention on how he's going to pitch to the batters he will face that day. Greg Maddox, another future Hall of Famer, does something similar. He takes a quiet time before each game and Visualizes  himself throwing the ball where he wants it to go to each batter he will face that day.

     Lets bring this all together now and apply it to what we are doing. First we all need a quiet time each day just to think about and visualize our goals we've set. Ten minutes in the morning is great, with a few little 1 or 2 minute "timeouts" during the course of the day.

     But, in order to be as effective as we can, don't think about those goals while your studying or working.


Distractions will drain away your energy

     Randy found out that he is a much more effective pitcher, when he focuses his attention  on making one pitch at a time. When he focused his attention, during the event, on the end result,
he failed.


      The regular Pony League season is over, Karl (my son), had a great season pitching, his team went undefeated. He was picked for the All Star team and is the number 1 pitcher on the staff. We've played some high powered teams already and Karl has pitched very well against them.

     One of the keys to his success is his ability to focus on making that one pitch at a time. I'm so pleased at his discipline in that area for just turning 13 years of age.

     Another interesting situation arose this year that we can learn from. One game we played had short outfield fences. During batting practice Karl hit several home runs. During the game he was a miserable flop when batting. I asked him what he was thinking about while up to bat. He said, "I was thinking hitting a home run."

     After he said that, I knew why he had failed to hit.

     We adjusted his mind set while he was batting to focus his attention on only that one pitch coming in to him at the time, rather than the long term result of what he was wanting to do.

     It has worked, Against All Star pitching he has posted a .570 batting average.  Excellent work.

Until next time, have a great time and enjoy your life....It's God's great gift to YOU.

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