Dodgers News: Will Smith Ignores Praise & Criticism
Will Smith, 2021 NLCS
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Will Smith just completed his third season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and despite being only 26 years old, has already established himself as one of the league’s best all-around catchers.

Smith hit a solid .258/.365/.495 in 130 games this past season, posting career highs in doubles (19), triples (two), home runs (25) and RBI (76). He continued swinging a hot bat in the postseason, going 11-for-44 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBI across three series.

On the defensive side, Smith threw out 25% of would-be base stealers and committed just six errors in 1,004.2 innings behind the plate. He also briefly saw time at first base and third base, which is a testament to the Dodgers’ emphasis on versatility.

During a recent appearance on the “Unfinished with Anderson Miller” podcast, Smith credited his success on being confident and associating with people who spread positivity:

“I’m super confident in myself and I try to surround myself with the right people who are positive around me, no matter if I go 0-for-4 that day or 4-for-4. They’re always the same. That’s kind of how I go about it, is try not to go too high or get too low. I try not to get distracted by stuff, whether you hit four homers that day and you’re all over Instagram, looking at comments.

“Or you’re 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, or worst-case scenario, you’re in the World Series and you miss a ball at home plate and it’s game over. … The good, the bad, you don’t let outside noise get you stuck on either one. Just keep going at it.”

Smith’s approach of not putting too much stock into any praise and criticism appears to be working as he is able to keep the focus on just himself.

Smith’s contributions at the plate this year earned him consideration for a National League Silver Slugger Award, but he fell ultimately lost out to now-retired San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.

Smith prioritizes balance with routine & flexibility

Among other topics Smith discussed is the importance of having a flexible routine that he can change on any given day.

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