Becoming a great hitter requires significant practice. Swing after swing, pitch by pitch, drill upon drill. Some of the best major league hitters take hundreds of swings each day, perhaps averaging 6000 per month. This volume of repetition and level of dedication is a virtual requisite of greatness for most batters. Success in almost any endeavor in life requires the same diligence.
Minister, philanthropist and writer Russell Conwell gave the same exact speech almost 6000 times during a decade-long fundraising endeavor. Conwell took the monies earned by his speech and established churches and civic organizations and schools, the most famous of which is Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Temple is among the largest and most-attended schools in the world and boasts a sterling academic reputation plus a solid history of sporting achievement. The Temple Owls baseball team has helped over 60 players play as a professional, with almost 20 of those playing at a major league level. Conwell’s speech, delivered verbatim each time, is called “Acres of Diamonds” and was converted into both book and audiotape format. Almost 100 years after his death, his speech remains among the most popular in the world.
The principal philosophical theme of “Acres of Diamonds” is that each individual already possesses all the necessary components and resources required for success. A “diamond,” as a metaphor for an abundance of talent and its manifest greatness, is present in some form or another in every person. Each person must discover his particular diamond, and share it with the world. There is no need to search elsewhere for an answer or a solution. Self-reliance rules the day and paves the path of greatness, according to Conwell.
Meaning, a great hitter coaches himself. A great hitter experiments with and discovers his own beneficial drills and best regimens. A great hitter devises, develops and uses available tools and resources to their utmost without relying on any “secret weapon” or “magic pill.” Greatness comes from within and must be mined to its fullest potential. A great hitter finds his diamond, on a baseball diamond, and shares it with the world.