Potential Versus Performance

Our challenge (in everything) is to perform to our potential in activities that we care about.

Of course, as Gamers, we are constantly working hard to expand and increase our potential — through training, nutrition, practice and being students of the game.  We are trying to hit a moving target, which is our Potential.

Performance is how we actually play and can be easily measured or observed.  Potential is obscure, but performance is easy to see.  Your performance is the answer to the question “how good of a player is he?.”  That question must be answered with actual results — not obscure potential.  The ultimate assessment of a player is what actually happens on the field.  That is a tough reality.

(Note – Unfortunately, the current college recruiting process sends too many mixed messages on this topic.  Coaches recruit on potential, but usually play their top performers. College bullpens are full of players that throw >90 but cannot get outs and hitters that can hit the ball 400′ but cannot make consistent contact.)

Young baseball players that aspire to play high level baseball are constantly challenged with two things:

Increasing their POTENTIAL

Closing the GAP between PERFORMANCE and POTENTIAL

Closing the GAP and playing to your potential is very challenging, but also very rewarding.  The two best toolsets for closing this gap are:

1 – Play Big program which is focused on overcoming fear and other emotions that interfere with playing to your potential.  The new Heads-Up 2.0 program from Tom Hanson and Ken Ravizza builds on this for more advanced players.  

2 – Pyramid of Success which is 14 Personal Traits that are the building blocks to success in team sports (borrowed from John Wooden).

If your PERFORMANCE GAP is big, then you need to address issues around Playing Big and/or the Pyramid of Success.  Simple recipe but hard to do. 

This is why the Gamers program spends time on these tools, especially the Pyramid of Success.  The way to address a PERFORMANCE GAP is outlined on the chart below. But, it takes personal responsibility and accountability to look inside yourself to address a PERFORMANCE GAP.  It usually requires a change in behavior — like more effort, greater passion, more self-control, more initiative, etc…

Too often, teenage boys seek the easy way out — looking for excuses, passing the blame — instead of accepting this personal responsibility. This is a very important lesson to learn and separates young men from mediocrity. The end product is worth it for players who accept this responsibility.  

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