It’s the 6th inning of the semi-final baseball game, time is expired, the score is tied, bases are loaded, and my 11 year old is up to bat. I can’t remember the count… but, I remember the hit that flew over the center fielder’s head and the cheers that erupted the second the ball was put in play. That hit brought in the run that won the game and advanced the team to the championship game. As I sat in the stands and watched my 11 year old on the mound and his teammates in the field at the championship baseball game, I thought of all the lessons I’ve learned from baseball that can be applied to life. Today, I’d like to share with you three lessons I’ve learned from baseball… even from the stands.
#1 – Be a Team Player! – Teamwork is evident in both offensive and defensive play by the selfless acts, encouragement, and support the players demonstrate. There were times in the semi-final game when a runner was on base and the batter had to bunt… intentionally sacrificing himself and his opportunity to run the bases, so the player already on base could score. Teamwork in a family, among friends, or in the workplace should be demonstrated by saying and doing what benefits everyone involved not just yourself. Every play and decision must be made for the good of the team. On Defense, the players backed each other up and and made the plays required when needed. Offensively and defensively, they shouted encouragement and lifted up high fives and fist pumps for their teammates! In business and in life It is important to remember that we didn’t get where we are alone. Being a team player requires us to both give generously and receive graciously backup, support, and encouragement.
#2 – Diligence – Never Give UP! – It is imperative to put forth consistent effort to reach your goals. A set back should not bring you so far down that you give up. In the first inning of the semi-final game my son’s team was down 5-3. The second inning went with no scores from either team. In the third inning, they held their competitors to no runs and scored 2 to tie the game. The game remained tied through the bottom of the 6th when the winning run was scored. They fought hard to come back and win the game. They kept their attitudes good and their strategy focused on doing what they were taught to do. Even when the chips were down, each player and the team as a whole stayed positive and put forth the effort to attain their goal – winning the game! In life, when we’ve set goals worth attaining, we should remain consistent at doing what it takes to get there. Through consistent and persistent positive actions we can move in the direction of success in relationships and in business.
#3 – Complaining and Throwing a fit will get you nowhere! Sometimes the umpires call balls as strikes or call a kid out when he should have been safe. In the championship game an awesome fair bunt was called foul. As upsetting as this can be, it does no good to complain about it, dwell on it, or throw a fit. The best thing to do is stay positive and move on. Arguing with the umpire, other coaches, or fans just makes you look bad and brings the atmosphere down. Life isn’t fair either. We all get thrown a bad lot sometimes. And, just like in baseball, throwing a fit will get you nowhere! A bad attitude will bring negativity and a storm of more negativity. As in the game, you just have to pick yourself up, dust off, and move on with your focus on being positive and reaching your goal.
The benefits of teamwork, diligence, and not throwing fits are things we can all use in our lives. Our families, friendships, and businesses will all prosper when these principles are applied. Be a team player, stay positive, and don’t let your temper get the best of you. Keep your focus on your goal, and celebrate like crazy when you hear that ball hit the bat and see it fly!
Rise and Shine my friends!