When I mention the name, Carl
Crawford, what comes to mind? His speed and ability to steal bases is usually
the first answer. But, did you know that he is also a career .295 hitter? Out of
the last five seasons, he's only hit under .300 once. If you get a chance to watch this
guy play this season he is a lot of fun to watch.
I got a message forwarded to
me on Twitter with a training video ESPN did
with Crawford. It's short, roughly ten minutes, but packed with tons of good stuff to
pay attention to as you work at your own development of the mental game of baseball as well as
your hitting mechanics. Let me point out
what I picked up in this video that may be of some value.
The first part of the video you see Carl and his personal
trainer working on his speed. What caught my attention here is that he is out on his own
working on his speed, but more importantly, one aspect of his running game. This from a
guy who stole 60 bases last year! Believe me, not everyone at the MLB level puts
this time in prior to the scheduled workouts in the spring. How is your mental
game? Are you willing to put some time in on your own to develop a skill? I assure
you, Crawford didn't make his millions then decide he was going to put time and effort into
developing his game. The inner drive to achieve Crawford shows should be emulated
by all those serious about their performance. This is baseball psychology in action at its best.
The second clip is quite short, only a couple minutes, though I picked up something Crawford said
that sheds some light on why he is a premier athlete. As you'll see the clip focuses on Carl
working on his hitting mechanics with the teams' new hitting coach. This in itself is not too earth
shattering, but it's what Crawford says later in the interview that caught my attention.
The quote comes from when he was talking about what his new hitting coach had to say about his
swing. Crawford says, "he's already told me some things I can improve on, so I'm excited
about that. I like to hear guys talk and you know, tell me stuff that I don't
know". I can remember countless times where I gave some well intentioned advice to a
hitter in high school that was met with a closed mind. I love to work with guys who
approach a hitting session, or for that matter, all practice with the attitude that they are
looking for one thing to make their game better. Crawford could have easily dismissed
this coach on the first hitting session, but instead his mind was open to some advice
about his hitting mechanics. I
remind you, he hit .305 last year. Being teachable is a coach's dream. You are
never too good to learn something new.