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Hitting 101: Who Am I?
Your Self Image determines the size of your goals
The most important thing any hitter can do to maximize his or her potential is answer the age old question, Who Am I? This is the essence of the mental side of hitting. It is widely believed that one's success as a hitter, especially at the highest levels of competition, is approximately 90% mental and 10% physical. In my opinion, at the MLB level where all the players are physically gifted, a hitter's success is closer to 99% mental.
Why is answering the question Who Am I? so important to a hitter's success? Because the quality of your answer to this question determines the strength of your self-image or self esteem and the strength of your self-image or self esteem determines the size of your goals or honest expectations.
What exactly is your self-image? It is the way you honestly feel about or see yourself, just how capable you honestly feel you really are.
Unconsciously, most hitters in MLB today develop a relatively low level of self esteem which happens to be the case due to the relatively unenlightened mentality pervading all of MLB, a mentality that has survived in baseball for the past 100 years. Professional baseball players and coaches have never been perceived of as the scholarly or sophisticated types.
Beginning back in the early 1900s baseball players like Ty Cobb were perceived to be some of the roughest, toughest, nastiest talking, and thuggish individuals in the American culture. Baseball was a much more violent sport in those days than it is today.
My college baseball coach at the University of Richmond, Mac Pitt, was born in 1897 and when he was about 20 years old and a student-athlete at the University of Richmond, he was such a great baseball player that he could have most probably been a successful professional player. However, Mac's father was a minister and would not allow his son to be associated with what he perceived to be the barbaric heathens playing professional baseball at that time.
Coach Pitt was given two job choices by his father. He could be a minister or a teacher and that was it! So, Coach Pitt elected to be a college coach and teacher. However, the point is that the baseball players like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the majority of players in those days were not the kind of guys most mothers and fathers wanted their daughters bringing home for dinner.
This image of the crude, rough, tough, nasty talking professional baseball player has been passed along to the present day. While the present players are far more well educated, sophisticated, kind, and gentle than those of days gone by, that rough and tough image is still held in high regard by many close to the game, especially the older members of management who remember the good old days.
In response to an offer I made to help the Royals hitters about 25 years ago, Ewing Kauffman, the owner of the Royals at that time, told me that baseball players and coaches were not especially interested in any form of spiritual information which was the cornerstone of my inner game hitting philosophy.
Kauffman always felt that the players were not the most educated people and that this lack of education resulted in players having a relatively low level of self esteem. Kauffman felt that this low level of self esteem had a negative impact on their performance both on and off the field. Kauffman introduced his Baseball Academy idea to help educate the players by offering them various forms of training that most baseball players did not receive.
Kauffman explained how he had been treated with hostility by his own baseball people, mentioning a former General Manager named Lou Gorman, in particular, who really didn't appreciate any input of an educational nature from Kauffman. Kauffman explained how his baseball executives hated his interfering with the day to day baseball operations, the status quo.
He also mentioned that his baseball people were a rather rough bunch who wouldn't appreciate my references to Jesus, the Buddha, Lao-tse, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others of a spiritual nature. Mr. Kauffman told me that while he honestly believed that what I was teaching would be of real value to the players, he had simply given up trying to fight the bastards, the Lou Gorman types that run the game.
Therefore, in professional baseball, scholarly pursuits by the players and coaches have never been encouraged. Unwittingly, MLB management has allowed a relatively low level of self esteem to remain fairly consistent over the years.
Therefore, the majority of hitters begin to think of themselves as .270 hitters because this batting average seems to be good enough to keep everyone associated with the organization satisfied. It's not too high and not too low. It's politically correct.
In this relatively unenlightened culture of MLB, for a hitter to publicly admit to having a significantly higher goal, like that of being a .350 hitter, that hitter would soon be shamed into feeling guilty for having unrealistic expectations. This negative form of criticism comes from the vast majority of management, coaches, and players.
As a hitter begins discovering the answer to the question, Who Am I?, the hitter will begin to understand why he is actually far more capable than he had ever imagined. He may then begin thinking of himself as a .350 hitter, even maybe a .400 hitter. Currently in the rather unenlightened culture of MLB, any hitter who publicly admits to having a goal of being a .400 hitter would definitely have his sanity questioned by management. After many years of this unenlightened culture pervading MLB, now virtually everyone associated with professional baseball believes the .400 batting average to be an unrealistic goal. Many come right out and say it is impossible.
The reason your self esteem is so important is because it determines the size of the goals you consciously and honestly expect to accomplish. This is so important because your subconscious mind is the "prover". Its job is to prove your conscious claims to be correct, whatever your conscious claims may be. Remember the words of automotive giant Henry Ford who said, "Whether you believe you can or can't do a thing, you will be right in either case."
So, how should a hitter answer the question, Who Am I?, to most effectively increase his or her self esteem and maximize their hitting potential? There are several paths one can take in answering this important question. One can take a scientific path, a philosophical path, or a spiritual path and arrive at the same answer.
We now know, scientifically, that the Law of Attraction is at the very center of all things. This great Law is the very cornerstone of the most powerful sports psychology, the deepest and most profound philosophy, and all of the great religions and spiritual movements. The Law of Attraction is deeply implanted into every cell, every molecule, every atom, and every sub-atomic particle within YOU.
For centuries, all of the great religions, spiritual leaders, and philosophers have taught that each of us is a divine being, a child of God. In America, since most religious folks are either a Christian or Jew, you can refer to Psalms 82:6 in the Holy Bible which reads, "Ye are Gods: and all of you are children of the Most High."
What do children have in common with their parents? They have the same characteristics, properties, and attributes of their parents. Since you are a child of God, you have the characteristics, properties, and attributes of God. This means that you are a creative being. With humans, our thoughts and feelings create experience to reflect our thoughts and feelings. Like begets or produces like. This is the Law of Attraction.
Everywhere in nature we see the Law of Attraction in operation. Every form of life begets or produces life LIKE itself. For example, oak trees produce other oak trees, pine trees other pine trees, tigers other tigers, eagles other eagles, etc. A single little acorn can produce an entire forest of mighty oak trees. YOU CAN HIT .400 TOO!
More recently, science has found that everything is actually unified, connected, or one.
Dr. John Hagelin, a quantum physicist with a PhD from Harvard, has not only proven that Einstein's theory of the Unified Field is correct, but Hagelin now has evidence that this Unified Oneness of incredibly sophisticated energy is also incredibly intelligent. This fantastic form of intelligence imbues or pervades even the tiniest particle within the whole.
Each and every one of us consists of quadrillions upon quadrillions of energy superstrings. You consist totally and entirely, 100%, of this super-sophisticated energy. We all live, move, and exist within this vast sea or ocean of unified oneness. This means that you are far more sophisticated, amazing, fantastic, and capable than you may have ever imagined.
Science tells us that atoms are so small that approximately 250,000,000 atoms, placed side by side, like super-tiny little baseballs, span the distance of one inch.
A superstring of energy is so small that one superstring inside of an atom would occupy about the same amount of space as one baseball inside of Yankee Stadium.
Just as science has never been able to determine an end to the world of large, because space appears to go on infinitely, Science has also never found an end to the world of the super-small either. It is truly mind boggling.
Mankind simply doesn't have the technology at this time to detect an end to it. This is where the Mandelbrot set comes into play. At this time, it appears there is no end to the world of the super-small. It appears to get smaller and smaller and smaller with no end. It is truly mind boggling to contemplate how incredible it all is. And YOU consist of this incredibly sophisticated and complex energy, totally and entirely.
In reality, your super-sophisticated mind-body energetic machinery can easily produce the .400 batting average. The ONLY requirement absolutely necessary in accomplishing the .400 batting average (even the .500 batting average) is that you cultivate a sufficient level of belief to empower your subconscious mind to manufacture this particular end result. Your Belief Power is the Key.
This metaphysical or spiritual law, the Law of Attraction, has been taught for thousands of years. For example, Jesus taught this great law again and again to make sure we got it. In Mark 9:29 Jesus taught, "According to your faith, be it unto you."
Jesus taught this same law again in Mark 9:23 when he said, "If thou can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Jesus taught it again in Matthew 21:22 when he said, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive."
This same law was taught in the Old Testament too. Proverbs 23:7 says, As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." All of the great spiritual traditions taught this great law. In the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita it says, "Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so is he."
Every positive thinking and success philosophy has this Law of Attraction at its very core. Napoleon Hill taught that "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." Dr. Joseph Murphy said, "Your habitual thoughts and feelings create, fashion, and mold your destiny." Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "You become what you think about all day."
Therefore, the most important thing any hitter can understand is that he or she is a divine being capable of producing ANYTHING they believe they can. The .400 batting average CAN and WILL be achieved when the hitter cultivates a sufficient level of belief to make it happen. Currently such belief is being suppressed, unwittingly, by the unenlightened people managing professional baseball thereby resulting in weaker hitting overall.
Science has found that everything is energy, even our thoughts and feelings, and each and every thought, feeling, and idea has a particular vibratory rate or resonance. When the frequency or vibratory rate of your belief is equal to the frequency or vibratory rate of your goal, it then manifests into physical reality for all to see.
This is the essence of the most powerful sports psychology known to man. Therefore, the answer to the question, Who Am I? is ...You are a divine being consisting of a fantastic form of super-sophisticated creative energy which is capable of creating or producing ANYTHING you BELIEVE you can.
Anyone who doubts that you can hit .400 is simply unaware of Who we really are.