Sunday, October 18, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME

I left Arizona today where the weather was 100 degrees without a cloud in the sky. I landed in Boston at 6:00 p.m. and was welcomed by cold and windy 30 degree weather. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, or expecting on October 17th, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised living in New England. Being home now and looking back at the last month of baseball, it was exactly what I had needed after not being able to play much this season because of injury, and when I did play, not being very successful. After playing so many games during the season and being on the road for so long, the last thing most players want to do is go to an instructional or fall league. Although you may not always want to do it, it is almost always beneficial for you. After putting in a lot of work in the batting cages and in extra b.p. over the last month, I really have come to understand my swing much better and what I have to do to be successful. Over the last two years I have played in hundreds of games, but never had a whole lot of time to look at my swing, and more importantly, play in games that don't count so I could work on things and not worry about the results. It is hard to make major changes during the season when you know each at-bat counts. I ended up having a really successful Fall League and can now use it as something positive to build on come Spring Training. It feels good to go up to the plate and be able to do the things that you have worked on in practice correctly. Over the past few seasons I would work on different parts of my swing in practice and not be able to go into the game and perform them. There is nothing worse in sports than going into a game and not feeling confident about your ability to get the job done. I went a long time without that confidence, but over the last month I have found a way to regain many of the things that I had lost, and attack every at-bat feeling confident in doing my job. With that being said, I am still a long way away from where I want and need to be to perform at the level that I want to, and I need to keep working on getting better. Like our coaches say, "You never stay the same. You either get better or you get worse, and its up to you."
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