My coach in high school, Coach Kaiser, used to say all the time "see the ball, hit the ball, run like the dickens!" Simple enough, right? I thought that was what I was doing...
Not until the summer before my senior season in college, I had a coach offer some advice about pitch tracking. In other words, focus on seeing the ball from the pitchers release point. HOLY SHIT! Are you telling me that all this time, all these years, I had not been seeing the ball? All this time, I hadn’t been focused on the right stuff? Was I putting the cart before the horse? The entire game of baseball begins with the ball, seeing the ball. You can’t hit it or catch it, if you can’t see it.
Seeing the ball became my singular focus. That year, I would spend many hours in the batting cage/practice, not even swinging, just watching the ball. Frustrating and boring for my teammates and certainly for the guy throwing batting practice, but I didn’t care. It helped me. A lot.
I had always led my team in some offensive categories. Maybe most hits one year, most homeruns, runs batted in, doubles, triples, and stolen bases. Even with that, I still always led in the most dubious category…STRIKEOUTS! Not this year. This year I led the team in ALL offensive categories, except for THAT one, strikeouts. Easy to say that this was my most impressive season ever, in fact I think I hit just shy of .600 in our conference games that season. All because I SAW the ball, the number one fundamental.
I believe that all of us are forgetting to keep our eye on the ball when it comes to our health. We want to know what the best piece of cardio equipment is, which machine/exercise will give us the most ripped abs, which workout is the most extreme, which diet trend will help us lose the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time. Our techniques are good, but our fundamentals suck, big time. I don’t care what kind of workout routine you have; it will fail if you forget the fundamentals. So here are the fundamentals, the pillars, the eye on the ball, as it were, of health and fitness.
1) Breathe – You can’t do anything without air…good luck trying. Begin each process/workout/task/day/meal/interaction with some intentional breathing. When you get tired, get up and breathe. When you don’t know what to do, breathe.
2) Drink more water – Oh, but you already drink a lot? I don’t believe you, go get some water.
3) Eat more vegetables – You already eat a lot of veggies? I don’t believe you either, make it greener.
4) Be consistent – I don’t care what workout routine, diet or program you are on, without consistency, it doesn’t matter. Motion is the lotion, get up and move, do something every day. Consistency is FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN INTENSITY. Make relentless consistency your intensity. Obsess about it.
5) When in doubt, “see” rule number 1