I am so tired of hearing people tell me that the “definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.” I didn’t know where that “definition” came from so I looked it up and it turns out, it’s frequently attributed to Albert Einstein…what did he know?
With all due respect to Dr. Einstein or whomever truly first made this statement (it’s not clear it really was Einstein), I believe that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results should be a definition of CONSISTENCY, not insanity.
Think about it, is there anything more important in baseball than repeating mechanics in your delivery or in your swing? Don’t we stress having routines, waking up at the same time, eating the same meals, warming up the same way, carrying out the same practice plans every day? Don’t we lament that the baseball season feels like Groundhog Day because every day is exactly the same? If you are involved in baseball, your world revolves around doing the same things over and over! It’s not insane to keep doing the routines and mechanics you spend so much time practicing, ingraining, making automatic just because you didn’t get results from your efforts.
However, what is insane is changing what you know works and has always worked for you in the name of getting a quick fix for different results. There’s the real danger in this misconception…we expect constant results from our hard work. When we don’t get the results we expect, we feel pressure to change our actions in order to continue to produce. Of course, there is a time for making adjustments and being adjustable and adaptable is another intangible skill like being consistent. You need to have both in the right balance to be successful. But I see much more failure and inconsistency from players abandoning their plans, changing their swings, tinkering with their mechanics, simply because they didn’t get a hit for two straight days or they walked too many hitters in their last outing. If you keep doing the same things over and over, AND you stay focused on the process of what you’re doing rather than your results, you’ll develop the consistency you need to win more often than you lose. Making changes when you don’t get results leads to losing your feel and comfort level. When I talk to players who have lost feel, it’s usually because they tried to change something, the change didn’t feel right, so they kept searching, and then lost their bearing on “normal.”
If you’re not getting results doing what you’ve always done, you need to be patient. Review your process, make sure you haven’t deviated from anything in it as a result of trying too hard, and then stay confident that your process will work if you give it time.
Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, was released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:
For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.