Aaron Judge is one of baseball’s best players. Kyler Murray is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. So what do these athletes have to do with you? Each of their stories contains an important lesson about success in sports and personality radio.
The all-star outfielder for the New York Yankees is having an incredible season. He has size, strength, and speed. He has natural physical talent that is rarely seen.
But Judge doesn’t settle for the success his skills seem to give him. He doesn’t rest on his immense talent alone. Judge is a meticulous preparer who consistently works to get more out of his ability.
His teammates say the thing that separates him from other players is the way he prepares before the game in batting practice. He says:
In traditional batting practice, you basically see the same pitch over and over. For most of my rounds, I like seeing the types of pitches we may face that night in the game. I want three rounds of just facing sliders, curveballs, and changeups. That way, I can picture those pitches in my head before I step into the box for a game. The more chances to replicate what’s going to happen on the field — either in batting practice or in the cage — the better success you have when it matters.
In other words, Judge visualizes success, then rehearses it.
Judge is just 30, and will likely sign a new contract after this season for about $250 million or more. Not bad work, if you can get it.
So what advice would he give his younger self?
Establish daily routines that help me reach my goals.
Murray is the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. He, too, is immensely talented.
He just signed a new contract, but based on some of the details in it, Murray may not have the same commitment to his craft.
There’s a clause in the agreement that Murray is required to do at least four hours of independent study before each week’s game. The material will be provided by the team, and time spent in team meetings for normal game prep does not count toward the four hours.
Yes, this is a real thing.
The team will monitor Murray’s iPad usage to ensure he avoids activities that might “distract his attention”. Yes, this is in the actual contract during his independent study.
His team doesn’t trust him to prepare. They aren’t convinced he will do what it takes to ensure he gets the most from his ability. They’re taking it so seriously that if Murray fails to do the homework, the team can terminate the contract.
Sports and Personality Radio
What’s the point? What do sports and personality radio have in common? Well, a sports fan can see many similarities. In this case, two things stand out.
An Aaron Judge show will:
- Do what it takes to perform at the highest possible level, even when it’s not easy or fun.
- Invest time and effort to set an example and do the right thing for the show, the station, and their personal career.
- Establish a routine that can be repeated, then hold themselves responsible to repeat the process to be fully prepared for every segment every day.
- Earn confidence and trust from management because they’ve proven to be trustworthy.
A Kyler Murray show will:
- Occasionally be great, but often fail by relying on raw talent and spontaneous reactions to compete.
- Resist coaching and suggestions for growth because they rely on “what we’ve always done before.”
- Become an internal barrier that sets a poor example for other performers.
- Require constant supervision, special contract clauses, and scrutiny to ensure they remain worth investment.
If you’re a Kyler Murray performer, you’d better be really good at what you do, and continue to perform to those elevated expectations. And good luck when those amazing skills that serve you well now are no longer unique or exciting as they are now.
Follow the example of Aaron Judge. Do the small things that lead to success. Commit to preparation and excellence. It will sustain a long career.