// you’re reading...

Beating the Odds

Attitude or Talent?

“Success is due less to ability than to zeal.”  — Charles Buxton

As Opening Day of baseball season draws near, Mike Piazza enters his second year of retirement, bringing him one year closer to induction into the Hall of Fame. (According to Hall of Fame rules, a player must be retired for five years to be considered for election.)

On draft day some 21 years ago, Pizza certainly didn’t look like a Hall of Famer. He wasn’t selected until the 62nd round, and then only as a favor to the family.

That means the top baseball experts in the country saw about 1700 players as being better than Piazza! Where are those players now while Piazza is headed to the Hall of Fame?

So here’s the vital question for athletes and coaches: Why do some people improve so much, and others not so much?

The answer, of course, is found in deliberate practice, a very rigorous way of approaching skill development. Which raises another question: Who is WILLING to go through what it takes to become great?

When highly talented prospects don’t develop, baseball people say, “You can’t measure heart.”

And that is why in the end, motivation and attitude become much more important than talent. It may be hard to measure motivation and attitude, but coaches better be on the lookout for it.

Coach Tully’s Extra Point: Here’s a look at the first round of the 1988 draft. Some players never made it to the major leagues; others made it but we not impact players. And Piazza was draft 61 rounds later!


No comments for “Attitude or Talent?”

Post a comment