Okay so picking right up where we left off…
We’ve already talked about Goals, Identities and Habits…
Then we talked a bit about how to INSTALL those habits so they run on autopilot (even on days you might not feel like it).
If you missed either of those emails (or want a refresh) you can find them here (Day 3) and here (Day 4).
As you may recall, the leading habit experts all agree that if you want habits to stick, you want to make sure they’re EASY, OBVIOUS and REWARDING.
So let’s look at some ways this might work from a baseball/pitching development perspective.
Say you want to establish the habit of doing your Arm Care consistently.
Don’t start by trying to commit to 60 minutes of band, dumbbell and plyo ball exercises three times a week…
There are just too many things that have to go right in order for that to happen every single week… You’d need access to equipment (might even need to drive to a gym or facility), and you might have homework or other practice/activities that just make that near impossible some days.
In short, it fails the EASY test.
Instead start by committing to something small… even ridiculously small.
As BJ Fogg suggests in Tiny Habits, if you want to develop the habit if flossing your teeth, start by promising to floss just ONE tooth. EASY – your brain goes, “no problem, I know I can do that.”
Then make the cue (or trigger) OBVIOUS. (“when this… then that)
Put the floss out on your bathroom sink, right next to your toothbrush.
Then anchor the habit to something you already do:
“When I get done brushing my teeth, I will floss one tooth.”
Before you know it, you’re flossing all your teeth, and you’re doing it every day without even thinking about it.
Okay, back to our pitching / arm care example.
Commit to doing one set of 5 internal/external rotations – see demo videos here (internal) and here (exteral). Takes about a minute – EASY? Check
Then make it OBVIOUS. Hang your arm care band up on your closet or someplace you’ll see it every day.
Then ANCHOR the habit to something you already do.
Example: “WHEN I finish my first homework assignment, THEN I will get up and do one set of shoulder exercises.”
Or maybe you don’t have a set of bands… Can you commit to doing ONE pushup?
Put a piece of tape on the ground by your bed and write “pushup station” on it…
Easy? Obvious? (check, check)
Then make it REWARDING… This part is also KEY if you want it to stick. In fact, BJ Fogg even says this step might be most important for wiring in that new habit so it becomes automatic.
Sooo many ways you can do this one… give a little fist pump and say silently “yes, that’s like me!”… give yourself a virtual high five in the mirror…
One of my pitchers has a dry-erase calendar on the wall in his room so he can just cross it off every time he does his routine (no better feeling than making that X “DONE” mark).
Whatever, you can have some fun with this one. Just remember to do it.
Once you have the habit in place, THEN you can start building it up, making it bigger… and up and up you go…
Okay, another loooongish email. Sorry, tomorrow will be shorter, I promise 🙂
Committed to Your Pitching Success,