With the imminent onset of the Spring Training baseball season, I couldn’t help but think about America’s favorite past-time. I started to realize that there are quite a few life lessons that can be taken from the classic sport and I started to compile a list. Here are the 9 that stood out to me the most:
1) Don’t Argue Balls and Strikes – …Even if you are 100% sure that it was bad call. Try not to blow up in the umpire’s face; it can only result in an even worse outcome. Take the good with the bad and trust that the law of averages will eventually be on your side. Basically, don’t sweat the small stuff.
2) 3 Strikes, You’re Out – But you’ll always have another at-bat. It’s okay to get discouraged when you just can’t get that clutch hit or squeeze out that bunt, but remember that there is always next time.
3) Not Every Pitcher Is An Ace – Many would like to be the best and to work with the best, but we can’t all be the best! Remember that everyone has specific skill sets and learning how to make the most of one’s own skills as well as others can have a profound effect on the outcome of a venture.
4) Team Practice Works – Getting to know your fellow team members, their habits, strengths, and weaknesses can serve to develop a solid core of trust and communication. Take the time to really get to know your partners for not only what they can do for you, but what they can do overall.
5) Platooning Isn’t A Bad Idea – Platooning, filling a position with more than one player, may be a great idea. Be it with a cool-as-a-cucumber veteran or a pair of dirt-dog rookies, platooning a position isn’t always a bad idea. It reveals opportunities to pass valuable information from player to player. It inspires even more of a team feeling between the platoon players, not to mention an increased productivity from the friendly competition that may result from a multi-staffed position.
6) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask / Don’t Stop Learning – Having trouble with your curveball? Not sure where the weakness in the strike-zone is? The best ball players are those always trying to find out from others what they cannot see themselves. What may seem impossible to spot for us, may be immediately obvious to others. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, help, or some on-the-side coaching.
7) Go Down Gracefully – Despite the feeling of defeat, don’t be a sore loser. Congratulate your opponent; commend them on a good game and go to sleep at night knowing you tried your best. Try not to throw anyone “under the bus” or put the blame on others. The same goes for winning.
8 ) Take Responsibility – As a corollary to #7, don’t wait for someone else to “throw you under the bus”. If you are responsible for something, come right out and own up to your mistakes. Do not try to cover it up. Do not try to pass the buck. Successfully handling simultaneous responsibilities can really show the kind of person you are.
9) It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over – Don’t be too discouraged by a multiple run deficit. Until that last out is recorded, anything can happen. With the right team members, the right attitude, the right skills, and a little bit of luck, games can be lost and won in a heartbeat.
The next time you sit down to watch your favorite baseball team play their arch rivals, take a step back from the action and notice some of the life-analogies that exist within the subtle game. If you come up with any good ones, comment below!
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