How important is baseball to you? What drives you to play baseball? These are some questions that not even the most fanatic baseball player can sometimes answer. This is a bit concerning too. In this blog, we will dive into the internal and external motivators that make young athletes play baseball and what keeps them going. However, we are also going to discuss the downfall to each type of motivator.
We all know that internal motivation is a lot stronger than external motivation. Internal motivation comes from ideas and principles. They come from the drive to be the best no matter the cost. Let’s use vegetarianism as an example. Those who actually stick with becoming vegetarians and vegans are more often those who have a strong moral reasoning behind it. They are the ones who absolutely abhor any cruelty of animals and do not want to partake in of the cruelty themselves. How else can someone go against human biology and not eat meat? They need to have powerful intrinsic motivation. Those who do it purely for the “health benefits” are the ones who usually don’t last for long. Health benefits, while sometimes intrinsic, can also be very extrinsic. The reason I say that is because if you’re doing it for the health benefits, the intrinsic motivator would be to “live a long life for my kids and family.” That is intrinsic. Extrinsic would be to “look good in a bathing suit.” While that can be powerful and get the job done, it may not last for the long haul.
How does this apply to baseball? Well, intrinsic motivators come from wanting to be the best. You do everything in your power (except cheat) in order to be the best. You don’t do it for the money, fame, or glory. Getting to the big leagues is a lot of hard work, and it will take about a decade worth of work. Yes, it will take about 10 years for you to be even close to reaching the big leagues. If you do not have a strong motivator, if you do not have the grit to be the best, then you will not succeed. If you give anything short of 100%, even if it is 99%, you will not succeed. But if you don’t have the intrinsic motivation to give 100% every single day, then how will you ever be successful? If you think the motivation of girls, money, and becoming famous for being a professional athlete are your motivators, you have already lost. You can do those things without baseball. But if you want baseball it has to come from within.
How do we get you to want to be the best? We don’t. It’s that simple. Coaches have about 10% of the say in an athlete’s development. That 10% can be the difference between being a high school player and pro, but when you have to get 50% better, there is nothing a coach can do or say to motivate you. Coaches have less a say over what actually happens to you. In fact, no one has more of a say over how good you can be than you. You, the athlete, have the most say in your career than any coach, parent, or umpire you come across. But you need a strong why to continue. If your “why” is weak, you will not succeed. If your “why” is strong, then you give yourself the best chance to be successful.
A little anecdote to finish off this blog. Roger Clemens was actually not good when he was younger. He went to junior college before becoming the person he is now. Most of you can’t stand the thought of JC baseball because you think it’s a demotion. Yet, he was able to push through it. How? He used to get angry at people when he pitched. He grew up poor, and he didn’t want to live poor the rest of his life. His mom used to clean bathrooms and floors at night in order to make ends meet. Clemens pretended that every single hitter he faced was someone that made his mom clean floors. They were the enemy and he wasn’t going to let them win. While you could say that his motivation might be “money” and therefore it wasn’t intrinsic, you would be wrong. While money can be extrinsic and a short term burst for cash, growing up in poverty is a different story. He didn’t want to live that like anymore and used that as fuel to be the best pitcher. You need a strong why to be one of the best in your field of operation, and no coach or parent can give you that why. It has to come from within.
Director of Pitching
Chapman Baseball Compound
Chapman Baseball Compound is a 3,000 square foot facility where we specialize in baseball development specifically in the areas of: hitting, pitching, catching, and mental training.