The Scoop: Raising The Bar

“Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.” – Mandy Hale

Today, I was thinking about one of the sessions from the ABCA clinic I attended in Dallas a few weeks ago. One of the coaches during a hitting clinic was discussing his team’s philosophy on hitting and describe the main tool they utilize that has contributed to a large part of their offensive success. He said 90% of their hitting is done by hitting off a slider machine, which is cranking out sliders at speeds in the low 80 miles per hour (essentially a quality major league slider).

After his initial talk, he moved to a breakout room for another Q&A with attending coaches. One of the coaches asked him if he would recommend lowering the speed of the machine for high school kids. The coached answered by saying, “I am not a fan of lowering my standards for anyone. We believe our guys will compete and figure out how to hit it.”

I thought about the times I have seen this done in coaching. Instead of teaching a kid who struggles to catch how to do so, we lob the ball softly to him, bounce it back into him, or even roll it back to him. We have a kid who does not field grounders all that well, and we hit them softer to him so that he continues to catch them his way. We have a player that does not hit real well so we throw it real slow and deliberate while trying to hit his bat.

What are we teaching these kids? That when life gets hard, someone will show you the easy way out. Why do we allow this to happen?

It is perfectly acceptable to have high expectations. We need to demand that people raise their level of performance. As Aaron and I have said over and over again, we must strive to raise that bar every day.

Does that mean that the initial learning curve will be tough? Absolutely. We may fall on our face over and over again trying to reach those expectations we set for ourselves. We will want to lower our expectations to something more easily attainable. I would encourage you not to fall into this trap.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep getting up and going. Keep striving every day to be better.

Over time, we will meet those expectations, raise the bar, and then exceed those as well. There is no limit on how high we can go. This is all a part of the process to being great, and anyone of us can do it.

Refuse to settle. Refuse to lower your expectations for yourself or others. Refuse to take a day off. Climb that ladder one step at a time over every hurdle we set and every obstacle we encounter. Do that, and no matter where we end up, we will be great.

Bring your best today!

Love, Noah


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