The Value of a Little Bit

Fastpitch Softball Tips - the value of a little bit Too often our players aren’t patient with anything other than making huge improvements and doing them right now. And let’s be honest, how often do those bounds in skill really happen? Discover the role that a “Little Bit” can play in your team’s improvement. When I’m working with players on any skill or skill level I’m amazed at how quickly they dismiss that they’ve made even a “little bit” of an improvement. I strongly believe that players want to get better but they want it now! Players live in a world of now getting almost anything they want simply by wanting it, and getting it fast. So of course players expect to master a pitch in one day or hit every ball hard in practice or find whatever shortcut there is for whatever it is they’re doing. But softball skills don’t work that way, they are long term development projects being constructed by now! players – not a good combination. This is why we’ve got to do anything we can to help our players notice those little tiny improvements they make every day but immediately dismiss as meaningless. While achieving such a monumental jump in skill is virtually impossible overnight it doesn’t mean the player can’t make small steps or baby strides toward that improvement. Players often make little-bitty improvements while virtually dismissing them as insignificant, it’s as if a little bit doesn’t matter at all. Well let’s look at just how powerful a Little Bit can really be. Pop Quiz – What do you think your players would pick if you gave them a choice between having a million dollars right now, and taking a penny and doubling it every day for a month? It’s an interesting question and I’ll bet that most of your players would take the million dollars, and let’s face it, it would be hard not to. The million dollars represents an immediate reward and a huge amount of money. It represents what our players want in the way of skill improvement which is an immediate reward and sudden success.
Day Amount
Day 1 $.01
Day 2 $.02
Day 3 $.04
Day 4 $.08
Day 5 $.16
Day 6 $.32
Day 7 $.64
Day 8 $1.28
Day 9 $2.56
Day 10 $5.12
Day 11 $10.24
Day 12 $20.48
Day 13 $40.96
Day 14 $81.92
Day 15 $163.84
Day 16 $327.68
Day 17 $655.36
Day 18 $1,310.72
Day 19 $2,621.44
Day 20 $5,242.88
Day 21 $10,485.76
Day 22 $20,971.52
Day 23 $41,943.04
Day 24 $83,886.08
Day 25 $167,772.16
Day 26 $335,544.32
Day 27 $671,088.64
Day 28 $1,342,177.28
Day 29 $2,684,354.56
Day 30 $5,368,709.12
Day 31 $10,737,418.24
Now, what about the penny? This story isn’t about sudden success or large, huge improvements but instead is about the Power of a Little Bit, and nothing is more representative of a little bit of anything than the penny – 1 cent. A penny is so insignificant that most people don’t even stop to pick it up if they find a penny on the ground, or they simply grab one out of the dish if they’re a penny short at the checkout counter. But as we’re about to see, a little bit of anything added on top of itself over and over is a very powerful thing. Now looking at our offer – a million dollars now or a penny doubled every day for a month – which one did you take? You might be surprised to learn that had you taken the penny offer you would have been a millionaire on Day #28 (and actually had $342,177.28 extra), and at the end of your month (a 31 day month) you would have ended up with $10 Million Dollars! 10 Million Dollars and yet you started with something as little, small and almost insignificant as a penny!  Just in case you don’t believe me the chart to the right shows the actual path your penny will take as it doubles itself over the course of a month. So the next time your players get frustrated with themselves, or simply want to dismiss making even a little bit of progress remind them of the Power of a Little Bit – how a penny doubled every day for a month will result in over 10 million dollars! A little bit done day after day after day adds up to a whole lotta bit! By the way, this is also a very powerful lesson for us as coaches when it comes to staying patient at the beginning of our season when our team might not be playing exactly like we know they eventually need to. As long as they’re making a little bit of progress every day then in a pretty short amount of time that progress will start to compound and when it really starts to matter that same team is suddenly really good! For more ways to help your players improve during Practice check out the following:

2 comments on “The Value of a Little Bit

  1. Steve NIchols

    Great article! This is the power of COMPOUNDING — sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Extreme patience and discipline are required, as the big “returns” are realized in the latter periods. But the payoff is enormous.

  2. Cindy Bristow

    Exactly Steve! I couldn’t have said it better! Patience, discipline and BIG rewards later are the same for investing as well as pitching. In fact, isn’t practice simply “investing” in your own skill future? Happy New Year!

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