Today’s task in the 21 Days to Building a Better Ballplayer project is to find a training partner.
Why do you need a training/throwing/hitting partner?
Before the 2007 season, I spent a good chunk of the off-season throwing and training all by myself. Man was it tough. I had a bucket of balls and a net that I would set up at a nearby park and I would throw, and throw, and throw. I had to balance this with work, so some days I was up at dawn and avoiding sprinklers as I got my work in. It would have been really easy to justify sleeping in a little longer and just throw the next day.
If I would have had a throwing partner, he could have kept me accountable with my throwing routine and my training program. Not only would he have made me get my work in, we could have bounced ideas off each other, pushed each other harder, and competed to see how good we could become. It’s amazing what a dedicated partner can do for your success.
What to Look for In a Training Partner
Your training partner does not need to have the same goals as you, but he does need to have his own goals and he needs to have the desire to become a better ballplayer. You want to find a partner that you can improve with and compete with. The two of you need to set out a game plan and keep each other accountable. When one guy is tired and doesn’t want to throw or hit that day, it’s the other partner’s job to remind him of all the reasons to not skip out on that day’s training.
So, reach back in your list of names and think of a current or former teammate (or even possibly an opponent) that you know will keep you on track and push you to get better. If you can find a guy that is a better ballplayer than you to begin with, even better.
Now, give him a call and tell him that you need someone to throw, hit, and train with on a regular basis. Tell him your goals, desires, and dreams so he knows what to expect. Then ask him to tell you all of his. This will help you develop a bond and connection that will keep both of you committed to the task at hand.
You could even challenge him to commit to the 21 Day Challenge with you.