Kobe didn’t let anyone outwork him.
To use his words, he was always “working on his craft.”
I talk to my pitchers about not letting anyone outwork them. I’m not sure they really understand what that means.
Ask yourself if you’re doing more than the average pitcher? Are you practicing 5-6 days a week? Do you think that’s what outworking everybody means? Not to me.
To me outworking your competition means getting up to do conditioning that you HATE, but push through the pain and finish stronger than you started.
Maybe it’s in the weight room at 5:30 am or running sprints on the track on that 30 degree morning, and doing it like you are a track star trying to get a personal best.
It’s taking care of business in the classroom and then getting your pitching practice in after school whether or not you have a catcher to catch for you.
It’s practicing the drill that is the most frustrating over and over again because even though it stinks right now, deep down you know it’s going to help you in the long run.
It’s doing spins in the car on the way to a tournament or even visiting grandma’s house.
It’s journaling and getting honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and accepting those weaknesses, but work to improve them.
It’s working on your mental toughness and ability to perform under pressure.
It’s finding the value in every camp/clinic that you attend, even when you have heard it all before. It’s taking care of your body with proper stretching and self-care. It’s being a student of your craft!
It’s watching the best in the world to learn pitch sequences to sit down batters in every situation. It’s preparing for the unknown and being able to handle anything that comes your way.
It’s learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable and controlling the controllables.
It’s not a practice schedule or a pitching lesson. Outworking everyone else is a lifestyle and a compulsion.
It’s not just practicing with a purpose, it’s LIVING with a purpose.
It’s never being perfect, but always striving to get better. It’s important to recognize you only get to do this for a little while.
So give everything you have to it.