I was recently channel surfing and came across an interview with Jimmy Johnson, the former Miami Hurricanes’ and Dallas Cowboys’ head coach. He was discussing how he had a saying back when he coached that went something along the lines of “positive attitude plus effort equals performance.” It made me think of similar sayings I have heard over the years from coaches at all levels and across the sports’ spectrum.

In fact, recently Oates Specialties shared a post on social media that is right in line with Jimmy Johnson’s motto. The post shared the 10 qualities/traits that require zero athletic talent. They are:

1.Being at practice early;
2.Work ethic;
4.Body Language;
8.Being coachable;
9.Doing extra;
10. Being prepared.

Now, I think that these ten qualities are essentially attitude and effort broken down into more specific character traits. Why do you think attitude and effort are the lynchpin to a successful athlete at all levels? Let’s take a look at the professional athletes that Jimmy Johnson was preaching this to. How many pro guys do we hear about that have bad attitudes, are selfish, and throw temper tantrums? Quite a few actually. The same can be said for pro athletes that give poor effort. Guys who are too caught up in partying and living a certainly lifestyle versus getting their work done. It’s tough to name any guys like that who have reached their true potential. There are so many guys who are truly talented, yet are out of the game prematurely because of off the field issues that stem directly from bad attitude and poor effort.

The same can be said for high school and college athletes. You can’t control how talented you are on a given day, (Note: you can do a lot of things to improve your talent over an extended period of time) but you can entirely control your attitude and effort. I have known numerous guys who were less talented yet made it further in their baseball careers solely from their attitude and effort day in and day out. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be around a person who is lazy and/or has a nasty attitude. People will look for any excuse possible to not be around that person and this includes college and professional scouts.

I also think attitude and effort are key in improving. You should be aware by now but I don’t subscribe to the thought that talent is simply God-given and you either have it or you don’t. It is absolutely possible to improve your talent and skills. I am speaking from experience as I went from an average high school pitcher to a professional pitcher all from a very high effort level (if I may say so myself). I fancied myself on working harder and longer than everybody else. As Jimmy Johnson stated in the interview I watched:

“Hard work overcomes a lot of things. There is a lot of competition that first 8 hours you work, but with that 9th, 10th, and 11th hour there is a whole lot less competition, until pretty soon you are the only one left working.”

Now it is absolutely true that you need a “process” or a “program” to follow in order for all of that hard work and effort to be fruitful, but fortunately that is exactly what Oates Specialties and the Texas Baseball Ranch provides. The Ranch has cutting edge training programs for baseball athletes and Oates Specialties provides the conditioning and training “tools” to allow you to effectuate those programs. I recommend you check out the many videos we have on our website to see some of the training that can be done with Oates Specialties’ equipment.

In the scheme of things, it really isn’t all that difficult to come to “work” each day with a positive attitude and exert a lot of effort. By doing that day in and day out you will be surprised at how far you can make it—not just in sports, but also in life.

Until next time,

Brian Oates