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Thursday, June 16, 2016

CAL RIPKEN JR. ON CONSISTENCY

We constantly preach to our players about being an "NBA Player" -- meaning "Next Best Action."  The best players don't dwell in the past.  They are on to the next play.  If they are thinking about the last play -- a missed shot, a turnover, a poor play be a teammate, a bad call by an official -- then they are not give 100% of their mental capacity to the most important play of the game -- the next one.  After all, as Sue Gunter would constantly tell her teams, "The next possession is the only one we have control of."

By now I am hopefully that you've all heard of The Players Tribune.  If not it needs to be a must read for you and your players.  It is articles that are written completely by athletes.  Not coaches. Not writers.  It gives us an amazing perspective and insight into what some of the best are thinking in so many different situations.

One of the more recent entries came from Cal Ripken, Jr. in an article titled "The Best Play I Ever Made."  One of the take aways from the article was when Cal had failure on the field, an error or poor at bat, he always seemed to follow it up with success -- a good defensive play or a hit.  This is the Next Best Action attitude.  This is a look into Cal's mentality: 


"More often than not, whenever I made an error, I’d get a hit in my next at bat. If I struck out a few times, I’d be more likely to make a nice play in the field. Whatever I was struggling with, I tried to excel in another area to balance it out. I always viewed baseball as a constant internal battle within myself. You have to keep your emotions low when pressure is high, but play with passion when pressure was low. It’s not about focusing on perfection so much as on consistency."