Growing up reading baseball books about Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Steve Carlton and many others, I learned a lot about success, perseverance, grit, teamwork and determination. Through my baseball heroes' stories about their childhood, high school years, and rise to professional stardom I learned about that process that all my coaches kept telling me to trust.
COVID 19 is a great time for aspiring players to check back into reading about more modern era players and their journey. While each player has a unique story, aspiring players will find clues about the process to help them on their own baseball journey.
In Barry Zito's book Curveball he describes his journey to stardom. Through his journey you can see The Hard 90 Mindset shine through:
1. Barry Zito did his best over a sustained period of time. In the book he describes practicing in his backyard everyday of the year from the time he was 8 years old with his dad.
2. Speaking of his dad, Barry Zito had a team that helped him reach the MLB. This team started with his dad and included guys like Alan Jaeger, John Savage and Billy Beane among countless others.
3. Barry Zito had to overcome adversity. The adversity Zito faced included things like being poor (causing great sacrifices to be made for him to pursue his dream) and injury.
4. Finally, Barry Zito always looked for opportunities to learn. Zito describes video taping all of his bullpens to study, remaking his pitching mechanics with a scout from the Mariners and adopting long toss under Jaeger's tutelage.