Even the greats need a little coaching and motivation from time to time. That’s what former Major League Baseball player (and saratoga living contributor) Jonah Bayliss realized during his professional baseball career, pitching for teams such as the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. “I developed this belief system over my decade-long career,” says Bayliss. “We spend so much time trying to prove other people wrong when really the sweet spot and the key to concrete and sustained commitment is proving yourself right.”
Bayliss is so dedicated to that philosophy that he’s set to share his secrets with Saratogians via his new executive coaching and performance training program called Prove Yourself Right. Although the Saratoga resident has been at the mind-body performance game on and off for years now—working with both college and high school athletes—he’s officially launched this new project as of late June, turning his years of experience and work ethic into a structured, ten-step program for success both on and off the field.
With Prove Yourself Right, Bayliss gets each client to internalize their motivations and goals through a kind of build-your-own training program, personalized to each client’s needs and goals. That includes a variety of options from team consulting to motivational speaking, as well as one-on-one training for coaches, athletes and even business types and executives. “Obviously coming up with a plan for an executive or entrepreneur is a little bit different than coming up with a plan for an athlete,” says Bayliss. “But when you break down business and sports into their fundamental forms, it’s about performing under pressure. The skills and the qualities in both of those are the same.”
For most of his clients, Bayliss is offering one-on-one virtual sessions, though he tries to meet face-to-face whenever possible. That’s hard to do, of course, when you work with the jet-setting crowd. “It’s pretty exclusive,” says Bayliss. “I’m working with only a handful of clients at a time, because I want the work to remain personal, deep and consistent.” An average client’s cycle is about three months, according to Bayliss, and he’s currently balancing four of them, which, according to him, is a pretty full schedule.
In addition to the personalized training, Bayliss also enjoys the public speaking side of Prove Yourself Right. “I’d love to see the message go national one day, maybe even stepping onto a TED Talk stage,” he says. Over the years, the former pitcher has given motivational speeches at a number of college orientations, business startups and high school assemblies. Since founding Prove Yourself Right last month, Bayliss already has a few speaking engagements on the books for later in the summer and early fall, including one in October at Alfred State College of Technology in Alfred, NY (about 4.5 hours southwest of Saratoga). “It’s been fun for me,” says Bayliss. “It’s given me an opportunity to take my background in athletics and apply it to other industries and other fields, and it seems to work pretty seamlessly.”
Bayliss grew up about an hour and a half southeast of Saratoga in the college town of Williamstown, MA. Though he’d always had an interest in baseball, it wasn’t until his years as a collegiate pitcher at Trinity College—a liberal arts school in Hartford, CT—that Bayliss really found his calling. Fresh out of college, he was drafted in the seventh round of MLB’s amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals, and in 2005 he got the call-up. That same year, Bayliss also met his future wife Austin, who runs a successful local catering company, Austin Bayliss Cakes. The two got married in Saratoga, where they ended up putting down roots.
Fast-forward a dozen-plus years and Bayliss is loving his new life in Saratoga, offering people the same motivational advice and guidance that led to his own success. “It’s a message you’ve been hearing since you were five years old,” he says. “‘You can do it if you put your mind to it.’ There’s real validity to that.”