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The Best Competitors Don't Compete

Alex Bregman has said that he wants to have one mechanical thought in mind every time he steps up to the plate.

That's right: a mechanical thought. He doesn't get "fired up," he doesn't try and figure out what pitch is coming, and he doesn't "compete."

In a competition between a competitor and someone who has transcended competition, who wins? Based on what we're raised to believe, it's the competitor.

But what is a competitor? How does being one help us win?

The word is vague, and somewhat empty. It's a word for people who really want to succeed, but can't put their finger on how to do it.

If I told you to get straight A's this year, could you do it just by simply "wanting it" bad enough? If I told you to compete, could you win an at bat just by "competing" well enough?

As with anything, there is a process to baseball, and those who figure out the process usually are the ones who excel. As always, there are the naturally gifted few that seem to get hits with ease just by willing it so. But what about the rest of us?

There are many different ways to hit a baseball, but every good hitter has certain movements throughout the swing in common. With hard work and the right guidance, we can achieve those movements too. The tricky part is translating these movements to the game.

When we move beyond mere competition, translating our mechanics becomes possible. The pitcher becomes a faceless blob throwing you the baseball. The other team's logo disappears. Suddenly, you're not competing against other players. It's just you against the ball. Easier than you against 9 other guys, right? I think so, too.

When you transcend competition, the pitcher your competing against turns out to be a mere distraction. At the end of the day, the ball will always be coming at you from 60 feet 6 inches. It's the same game regardless of who's playing. So focus on you, and be the best version of yourself possible.

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