1. Be ready to play and be at my best every day.
If that means telling friends, family, etc., that I can’t stay out after a game, and having them thinking and telling me I have a big head, so be it. I will be the A-home, but I will be rested and prepared when I go to the park.
2. Nothing or nobody will get in the way of or distract me from having quality practice and going through my pre-game routines properly.
If that means the fans get mad at me for not coming over to sign autographs, or reporters get pissed at me for not giving them the time and answers they want, that’s okay. I am willing to pay that price. “I’ll be an A-hole.”
3. Play hard all the time.
I will run out every ball, be alert, always back up, be ready and get great jumps on every pitch, always anticipate (never assume). Give it everything I have until the wee hours in the morning if that is what it takes. When I go in to break up a DP, I’ll take the, out hard, because the next time I am coming in to break up a DP, I want them to remember it and be aware of my footsteps. No more “Mr. Nice Guy.” I play to whip ass; to win. If they think I’m an A-hole because of the way I play, I’m willing to pay that price.
4. I will be the intimidator, no one will intimidate me.
When they knock me down or drill me, I will get up, take my time, get back in, not allowing myself to be upset or distracted (they will not get in my head). Then I will be ready to put my “businessman’s swing” on the next good pitch.
5. No matter what happens, I will keep my poise and act professionally.
6. I will be a good teammate.
I will encourage, support, and make sure everyone is in the game.
They taped the list in one of their lockers, home and road, hidden behind clothing and uniforms on the hangers, where it could not be seen by visitors in the clubhouse. When any of them needed the inspiration, he would look at the list to remind himself just what he valued. The four would discuss the points among themselves after games, evaluating whether they had succeeded on each point every day. As another reminder, they had T-shirts made up with OFFICIAL A-HOLE emblazoned across the front to remind them that they would accept being considered A-holes if that was what it took.
From "Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge" by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller