We live in a time where we tip people who get us a cup of coffee, where you pay high fees to be on a team but are told to get lessons from someone else. Then and only then can you get better; the only way to get better is to pay for it. We can offer you one of many tips that can help you improve your game on the field.

You most likely know what it is. You have heard of it before, and it’s called your warm-up. We see teams with disjointed warm-ups every time we are at the ballfields. Some emphasized hitting, others throwing, and very few on stretching. Of course, everyone has heard the term “we practice how we play.” There is a reason coaches say it over and over, but some of the ironies are that on game day, the day it matters most, coaches and players seem to go through the motions.

The warm-up is critical to most parents, players, and coaches goals. Did you know that many college coaches will watch a team or player’s warm-up? Your warm-up tells someone a lot about you, your approach, and your work ethic. Players should take the warm-up as seriously, if not more, than the game. Players set the tone of how they will play during this time.

Parents want to see their child’s team win, and they want to see that ROI for all the time and money they invest. Coaches want to see their team compete to the best of their ability. It only happens if your team and players are prepared to play the game.

Players, you, and only you can decide how warm-up will go. A coach can run it, and they can get on you, but you control your attitude and effort. Getting loose and stretching is the foundation of any warm-up. If you need extra or want to be prepared for warm-up, get that done before the team one begins. All warm-ups should include dynamic movement, throwing, hitting, and basic fielding. The level of energy given during this sets many teams apart from one another. Everyone, for the most part, does some version of this. But how it is done is where things vary.

Players and coaches need to set expectations from the start. The time is valuable, and using it to your advantage can help elevate your overall game. Set yourself and or your team up for success, not failure. When you are not getting the desired results, look back at the warm-up and see if you could improve it. Success and confidence are a lifestyle, a choice, reflected in everything you do, including warm-up.