At Kaplifestyle, we love spotlighting men and women who have handled adversity and are willing to talk about it. They can offer perspective and truly inspire us. Drew Stubbs is a well-accomplished man. He was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 1st round in 2006. He’s in the midst of a long, productive professional baseball career, and yet he still admits to having struggled to maintain confidence at times. This struggle exists for every human being alive, but the openness Drew offers us is unique. He’s here to share how he thrives with discipline and routine. I’m taking notes.
If you aren’t able to place an importance on discipline and self-control, you have no chance of reaching the levels of success, confidence and happiness that you covet.
I’ve learned, through my years around the game, to prioritize and organize my life. Baseball players are forced to make a lot of decisions on the fly, like choosing between the convenient junk food or putting in the effort to eat decently on the road. With all the schedule changes, I sometimes have to force myself to rest, even when I’m not that tired. When I recognize something as being important to me, I make it a point to stay on top of it and not succumb to the easy way out.
The self-control I’ve cultivated has really aided my career. I get my off-season conditioning in, take care of personal matters even when I don’t really want to and prepare the right way for a game. One of my biggest challenges is monitoring my weight throughout the season. Some struggle to keep their weight down; I have a hard time maintaining where I start in March. I know most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, “Wow, what a tough problem to have!” When you’re trying to stay healthy and maintain strength through 162 games, sometimes just getting enough calories to stay level can be a burden. Although I have to consume a lot of food throughout the day, I try to make sure the calories I’m ingesting are beneficial instead of ingesting meaningless or detrimental foods. The combination of making the right food choices and making sure I’m eating enough of them turns out to be a challenging display of discipline in itself.
Many others don’t necessarily share this feeling with me. One case that resonated with me was of a pitcher drafted the same year as me. He was a high draft pick with a huge arm and a really high ceiling for potential. Being around him every day my first couple minor league seasons, I quickly realized that he and I were quite different. I would think that if you have tremendous ability to be a special pitcher at the major league level, you would go above and beyond to do whatever was necessary to get to the pinnacle of the sport. Discipline clearly was not his forte. He would constantly show up overweight to spring training, be late for team buses, miss mandatory weight workouts and not stick to his pitching program. This gave me the clear picture that he wasn’t willing to put in the work if wasn’t convenient. I was not surprised when he kicked around in the minors for a few years before being out of baseball.
I’ve chosen a challenging career, and when I struggle to maintain my confidence, I fall back on my discipline and my routine. When you’re able to develop a daily routine that puts you at a high level of comfort, you give yourself a much better opportunity to perform at your best. We are all creatures of habit, and baseball requires me to have a level of comfort and muscle memory that only comes from a repeated process. Like everyone, some days I feel locked in, others I feel completely lost. During the rough stretches, I fall back on my developed routine. I show up to the park, eat lunch, get any treatment I need for various ailments, head to the cage early for some regimented swings, watch video on the opposing pitcher, take practice and play the game. All of these things are time and effort-intensive, and it would be easy to omit steps in the process. I rely on my discipline to stick with it even when I don’t always feel like doing it.
Having the discipline to do most things in this day and age can often be difficult. Whether it is waking up in the morning on time to go to work, choosing the better of two food options, or even paying your bills, everyone faces a choice in which the right thing to do is generally not the easiest. Maybe it’s the way that I’m wired, but it’s always been second nature to me to push my limits of self-improvement. Every baseball player has been asked, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” when discussing the relationship between confidence and success. Is confidence the byproduct of success or is success the logical progression from confidence? Regardless of which comes first, sustaining both is important to feel fulfilled in life. Reminding myself to exercise self-control helps me to be confident, successful and, ultimately, happy.