There is a quote often attributed to an anonymous Navy Seal saying “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That’s why we train so hard.” While grinding through another winter workout and serving in the Navy Seals are not the same thing, we can find motivation and truth in the idea.

As an athlete everyone is working for the end goal; the dog pile on the pitchers’ mound, cutting down the nets, raising the trophy over your head knowing you and your teammates have reached the top of the mountain. Or perhaps you’re driven by a personal goal, a scholarship offer, your name written in the starting line up or even having your name called on draft day. No matter what you’re working towards, it’s going to take just that. Work.

In today’s culture it’s the highlight reel that gets posted on Instagram or the scholarship offers announced in a tweet, what is often left unseen is the work that it takes to get there. The difference between good and great is the importance of a strong off-season program. Your off-season program will be a differentiator for you. Especially in Colorado where getting outside is not always possible, it is the work done in the weight room and cages that you’ll draw upon in the 7th inning of a doubleheader when the temperatures are reaching 90 degrees. 

It takes discipline and it won’t be sexy, but the commitment to working hard, to building a strong body, strong mind, and sound fundamentals will be what coaches at the next level are looking for. Champions are built in the off-season. The author Joshua Medcalf said “the bright lights only reveal your work in the dark. Too many people seek exposure from bright lights, only to expose their lack of faithfulness to their craft.”

Whether you’re a baseball player looking to go deep in the state playoffs in June, or a softball player playing deep into October after a full spring and summer of traveling from tournament to tournament, it is the work you do in the winter that sets up your foundation to shine when the lights are brightest.

Growing up in Colorado the winters were always a challenge, the lack of high-end facilities, and trouble accessing the right coaches and programs created obstacles to finding ways to get better. But now access to great coaching, great facilities like Gap2Gap, and strength programs that will help you be your best have never been easier to find. All that is missing is your commitment to doing the work.

Written by Tom Fogerty – Thanks T for your perspective – Love it!