It’s now fall, and when I think of fall, I can’t help but think of “fall ball.”
In college sports, “fall ball” refers to this time of year where softball and baseball players practice, long before actual in-season games begin.
These teams don’t use fall as a time to be couch potatoes, eat nachos, and watch football all day.
Instead, they use this time to get to work, hit some balls, field some grounders, and hone their skills.
They’ll also play a few practice games with other teams who are using the fall to do the same, because, you see, in sports it’s all about the preparation.
The athlete or team who prepares the most has a slight edge.
In graduate school, I had the privilege of taking a class with one of the leading sport psychologists in the nation, Dr. Ken Ravizza.
At the time, he had about 30 years of experience working with top athletes on their “mental game.”
To perform at the highest level in your sport, you can’t just rely on your physical skills; you must also develop the right mental game.
Dr. Ravizza wrote a popular book in Sports Psychology called “Heads Up Baseball.”
I’ll always remember how he would coach his pitchers on their mental preparation.
He’d tell his starting pitchers to take some time alone in the locker room before a game and visualize pitching the first inning – the entire first inning.
He’d make them imagine every wipe of his brow, every wind up, every pitch, and the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt while the umpire calls, “STRIKE!”
The pitcher used his precious time in the locker room before the game to visualize every detail of the first inning.
When the game begins, he steps onto the mound and is ready to throw his first pitch…
It doesn’t “feel” like the first pitch to him – it feels like the 10th pitch.
It also doesn’t “feel” like the first inning; it’s the second inning for him.
Remember, although it happened in his mind, he already pitched the first inning in the locker room.
He finds that this mental preparation gives him confidence, relieves the jitters of those first inning pitches, and helps him feel like he’s already an inning ahead of everyone else.
This, my friend, is how I’d like you to approach the fall season.
Now is your chance to play “fall ball” – to take the quiet time to reflect on what’s going well, as well as what needs improvement, and begin to take steps to envision how you want next year to look.
And yes, I’m talking about preparing for 2018 already.
(If Starbucks can roll out the Pumpkin Spice Latte the first week of September, then I’m talking about preparing for 2018!)
In all seriousness, imagine if you took the next few months not to coast and let yourself go; rather you saw it as preparation for a successful start of 2018?
I say this every year and this year is no different – the success of 2018 doesn’t start January 1st, 2018. It starts now, in the fall.
My aim is to help guide you through the last three months of the year so that when January 1st, 2018 comes, you’ll have already “pitched the first inning” so to speak, and will have the confidence and mindset of being “ahead” while most will just begin dusting their cleats off.
A healthy 2018 starts NOW. Join me.
To be continued next week…
It’s Your Turn to Take Care of You,
P.S. Until I’m back with you next week, make a decision today.
Will you use this fall season to prepare for a successful 2018 start OR will you be caught on your heels feeling overwhelmed with all these new healthy ambitions when January rolls around?
My suggestion: Start now. You’ll be glad you did.
Today, make the decision and stick to it. I’ll be here every step of the way.
“See” you next week!
In the meantime, if you need some help NOW, I’m easy to reach. See below:
Book a time to talk with me during my Office Hours here.