Chances are, you will never become a great hitter unless you are consumed by a love of the game. You must burn with desire in order to become your best. Hit king Pete Rose said it well. “I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.” And that’s the way he played, every pitch of his career!
At some point, whether you are young or old or somewhere in between, your internal drive is the only motivation that matters. If it takes a coach’s words or a teammate’s challenge or an opponent’s taunt to inspire you, then you are doomed to an eventual failure. Your fire for greatness isn’t hot enough, and time will diminish and then douse its flame. You aren’t willing to walk through the fire!
Everyone has something, a special pursuit, passion or interest, that lights an eternal flame inside. The flame persists in spite of any resistance and surmounts any obstacle because it does not depend on the fuel, nurture or protection of anything external. Very few people possess the type of inner flame that burns for baseball. And that’s okay. Find your own fire, even if it’s not baseball or hitting or sports of any kind. But don’t give up too soon if you think there’s even an inkling that you might possess the fire for hitting. The axiom “what you seek, is what you find,” is true. If you want to love baseball and hitting, search for your inner flame and don’t stop seeking until you find it. The love creates the spark that lights the fire and makes it visible.
Heavy metal band Raven explained the quest in their song lyrics to “Walk Through Fire:” “Walk through fire / the only way to take it to the edge / and push as far as you can go.” Walk through your fire, and bask in its motivating qualities. You’re in good company and on your way to greatness.