Baseball has a thing called a rain delay when the weather conditions don’t permit safe play. During these delays, they cover the field and players retreat to the clubhouse until the conditions improve. During a rain delay it’s important to your performance to mentally anticipate blue skies to emerge and the game resume at any moment. After all, if you look out into the sheets of rainfall and conclude there’s no way any baseball will be played during such a biblical downpour, it would only be natural for a miracle break in the storm followed by a herculean effort from the grounds crew to put you back in a game you’re now mentally checked out for. Trust me. I’ve done it.
This concept of committing to the most vigilant mentality first shows up elsewhere in the game, too. Catchers, like myself, must anticipate to the point of mentally begging for the pitcher to throw his fastball in the dirt. There isn’t time to assume it will be a beautiful strike to adjust and go to your knees and block the ball before it has gone past you to the backstop. I used to beg in my head for the hardest throwers to skip the ball in the dirt. The voice in my head would be saying, “Spike it! Dirt ball… dirt ball.. dirt ball…”, which would make getting to my knees to block the ball with my chest protector and keep the ball just one step away quite easy. With that mentality, catching an easy strike would be an easy adjustment.
Hitters, too, must “think fastball” and “adjust to offspeed” because you’d be too late if you assumed the slower pitch is coming and you get a 95 mph fastball instead. Since the average Major League fastball gets from the pitchers hand to the catchers glove in 0.4 seconds, there’s not much time to think on the fly here.
What, though, does this have to do with non-ballplayers?
It’s simple. Mental readiness isn’t a perfect two-way street. It’s much easier to down shift your focus than it is to upshift. Front load your readiness. You’ll always be able to let your guard down. It’s just much more difficult to do the opposite. Said differently, you can easily decide to break from your intense focus on work for a happy hour cocktail. It’s exponentially more difficult to decide to break from cocktail hour and re-engage your deepest work.
Complete 4 rounds for quality:
1 Standing Rope Pull
5 Strict Toes-to-Bar
25 Push Ups
Then, complete the following for time:
KB Swings (53/35)