Years before the pop rock group the Beatles became the most popular and successful recording and performing artist of their time, the band went by various odd names such as the Moondogs, the Quarrymen, and the Silver Beetles. Under these indifferent and nondescript monikers the 4 musicians paved the way to their eventual success the old-fashioned way – they earned it, by effort and hard work.
In an approximate 5 year period leading up to their groundbreaking appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV variety show, the band played an average of almost 270 concerts per year. The average duration of each concert was 3 hours. Many times, the group appeared as the house band at a boisterous and rowdy German tavern, playing numerous sets for up to 8 hours per day. The fickle and demanding crowd forced the band to expand their repertoire and increase their competence. Other times, a sparse or almost non-existent crowd might have tempted a lesser band to relax and deliver at less than their best. The burgeoning super-group often delivered excellence, and the crowds grew accordingly.
To a large extent, the band did not differentiate between a practice session and a public performance – they brought the same attention to detail and slavish devotion to excellence to each. Every second they were on a stage, regardless of the audience and regardless of the venue, they made a sincere effort to improve.
“We got better and got more confidence,” said John Lennon, regarding the years the band developed both their signature sound and perfected the relaxed insouciance on-stage that so endeared them to their expanding fans.
Want to improve, like the Beatles? Immerse yourself in a similar crucible. Practice more demanding drills more often – test yourself and make every facet of hitting a competition, if only between you and your previous personal best. Practice or game, demand your best. Prepare yourself for success, and even if it never arrives on a level quite like the Beatles, you will be a great hitter.