When I was 16, I was a pitcher in a competitive travel baseball league. There was a kid on my team who was about 6’, 190 and with just about a full beard and mustache. He was intimidating and had an overpowering fastball that always served him well when we were 12, 13, 14 years old.
During one game, this man-child was throwing fastballs in the 80s…but none of them for strikes. The manager called me in from the bullpen and the pitcher I was replacing said “I don’t know what’s wrong. I’m throwing as hard as I can!” With that, he went to dugout. The manager then turned to me and said “He’s a thrower, you’re a pitcher.”
When we were younger, my teammate could always rely on his size, a hard fastball and scared hitters to win the day. As we got older and opposing players got better, he needed to mix his size and strength with fundamentals, strategy and smarts and he just couldn’t make that adjustment.
You always need talent but just having talent doesn’t always mean winning. Winning takes talent combined with the will to win and the relentless drive to get better.