Baseball is a thinking person’s game. Unless you’re a longtime lover of the game or somehow involved as a player or manager, you may not think much about the game, especially of how it relates to life. There are more than a few things you can learn from baseball aside from how to break in a baseball glove, swinging a bat and fielding a ball
Working as a Team
Baseball is a team sport. Each player is designated a position. Take one position away and there is no game. The dynamic is similar to being on a team at work or working with members of your family to complete chores. Finding individual strengths and working on personal weaknesses helps an individual evolve. It is seldom that one person can stand alone. Two heads are better than one and a strong team benefits all members.
Great Work Ethic
Baseball requires great concentration as a hitter and fielder. Hitters have milliseconds to decide where the pitch is going, the speed, and whether it is worth taking a swing. Once on base, runners must remain vigilant and decide whether to steal, slide, or keep running when the ball is in play. Fielding coaches remind defensive players that priorities change with each pitch. A fielder must know exactly what they will do when the ball comes to them. Becoming a better player requires practice and focus during and after the game. For example, pitchers work on and off the field, sometimes taking advantage of portable pitching mound to practice at home.
Players face situations when the game is on the line, whether they are pitching, hitting, or in a defensive position. How a player handles pressure dictates the outcome of an entire game. For example, if a hitter gets overly nervous and lets hittable balls pass, they throw away opportunities to put the ball in play and rely on factors outside of their control rather than create their own destiny. In life, many factors are out of one’s control but a lot of things are influenced by how a person acts and proceeds.
Working with Different Personalities
Some ballplayers are quiet and methodical while others are brazen and loud. As a player, one has to learn how to deal with a medley of personalities. Some people will be easier to relate to than others. But for the entire team to succeed, each player needs to work in harmony with others. In life, whether it’s coworkers, family members, or friends, a person needs to deal with a multitude of personalities and work in accord to reach goals and new levels of happiness and success.
A great hitter will fail 7 out of ten times. That’s a huge failure rate. Those who are successful in life have many tales of failure. Many admit their ability to deal with failure dictates success much more than having things go their way. Baseball causes players to deal with failure, disappointment, and teaches them to be resilient despite the losing.
Opposing fans jeer and opponents intimidatingly stare, but seasoned players know how to remain emotionally stable during games. Anger and frustration take away from a calm and focused demeanor. Life throws many curveballs. In real time, one must learn to remain calm and focused rather than frustrated and emotional. Of course, there are times to show emotion but good decision making requires stability.
Some players are fierce competitors on the field while remaining soft spoken and family-oriented off the field. Baseball players learn to change hats, being players in uniform and then fathers, business owners, husbands, sons, and otherwise when they take the uniform off. Life assigns a range of roles to each person and it’s beneficial to understand how to act and assume multiple responsibilities.
Baseball seasons consist of many games. Players learn to persevere through minor injuries, hitting slumps, and losing streaks. Life also offers instances of winning and losing streaks; some days you’re up and others you’re down. In general, those who learn to persevere and ‘play the long game’ are happiest and most successful. Life is full of small steps, but in retrospect, those who persevere see they have taken great strides.
Approaching Success with Humility
There is such a thing as being a ‘sore loser.’ No one likes those who are overly self congratulating or use their success to make others feel inferior. Those with a lot of experience in the game know that it’s very easy to follow a long winning streak with an equally long string of losses. Life does require self confidence but one’s ego needs balance. Baseball players learn to deal with loss but remain equally wise about healthily dealing with success.
Tim Markison is the CEO of Athalonz, a Mesa, Arizona based Sports Science Technology Company. He is also a Patent Attorney, and the engineer behind the performance enhancing technology that is built into each of their products. Tim earned his JD from Loyola University of Chicago in 1993 and his BSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1984. He is a member of the USPTO Bar and of the Illinois Bar. An inventor on over 100 issued patents and on over 160 pending patent applications, Timothy founded Athalonz with a diverse group of experts including Major League Baseball Coaches, a Sports Scientist, and an Orthopedic Surgeon. United by their love of baseball and their passion for innovation, the Athalonz team is focused on creating breakthrough advances in Sports Science Technology.