I love baseball. More specifically, I love watching baseball in person. It is something about the sound of the ball hitting the glove, coming off a bat, the sight of a good steal, the smell of hotdogs, summer time, beer and cotton candy.
Then there is the comradely of the fans. I don’t care what team you are rooting for there is a fan base there and that team becomes your boys.
As a kid we used to go to the old stadium on 16th street to watch our Indianapolis Indians when they were the farm team for the big red machine. Now, as an adult I love going to Victory Field. Every year I would take my son for a full day planned around going to a day game.
And then there is Wrigley. And Bull Durham is one of my favorite movies…but I digress.
My dad got me into baseball. He also introduced me to fishing, but that just never took like baseball did. He introduced me to the Cubs. I’ve been a fan since The Penguin was on Third, Jody Davis was behind the plate, Leon Durham was in outfield and Ryan Sandburg was a youngster at Short.
My son played a lot of baseball growing up and we did a lot of traveling for his games. A lot of traveling.
We would start out the season dressed in layers bringing thermoses full of hot chocolate and having hand warmers. We would end the season with cool water spray fans, ice packs, sun screen and a loss of a percentage of body weight due to sweating it off just sitting there watching the game.
Through it all, the boys of summer persevere. Hot or cold, they play and play hard. The game does not change. The rules are the same, the skills needed are the same, the comradely is the same; but the environment changes drastically.
Baseball has some great lessons and rules. It teaches sacrifice and the value of failing.
You can literally fail at batting and lead the league. You sacrifice a single for a run or to advance a teammate.
Baseball is a great example and giver of lessons for those looking to advance, change or obtain a career.
Sacrifice is not a four letter word. Most people think of sacrifice as giving something up period. That is true to a degree. You are giving up something for the benefit of something greater. Remember the sacrifice a single for a run?
You may take a step backward, but that is the single in the current inning; and the run you allow to come in is a game changer.
You can fail most of the time and lead the league. Batting averages. Hit three out of ten times and anywhere else you would be considered a failure in the thirty percentile. In baseball, you are a rock star.
Preparation is critical, timing is a factor. Two exciting moments in a game is a great steal or a great pick off. You see that one moment in time when that is happening; but what you don’t see is all the work that went into it before.
Runners know the opposing pitchers and catchers. They know their wind up, their habits and look for their weaknesses. It is their advantage and it is mental. Pitchers and catchers know the runners. They know their stance and when they like to run. It is a mental game. Preparation is crutial.
Then it is a matter of timing. Once slight moment of hesitation and there is no contest. Do your homework, know your industry, the job, the skills needed, the qualifications desired and combine that with your strengths. Be ready with the timing presents itself then explode on it.
Excellence is not a seasonal quality. Great players keep themselves sharp and continue to try to improve on the offseason. You might get away with showing up during spring training without putting prior work into it, but the older guys, they are going to make a fool of you fast. Respect your sport, respect your talent and respect that it can all change in a day.
Management decisions can alter your course. As a life long Cubbie fan I have two words here: Greg Maddox. You can be the best and get downsized, traded or let go. It is a business decision, it is not personal. You cannot always control the decisions of management; however, you have full control of your reaction.
It is a game. To the players, coaches, umpires, staff and crew it is a job. But it is also a game. Have fun. I love to hear each guy’s music they pick when they come up to bat. Love, love, love it. It gets them jazzed and the crowd jazzed. They have fun. They allow us to have fun.
Support those that support you. There will be people in your career that help you along the way. Remember them, be grateful for them and appreciate them while they are there. No one wins a game on their own, it is a collaborative effort of everyone bringing out the best in each other. Make sure you contribute to others as much as they contribute to you.
So for my beloved Cubs and Indianapolis Indians, thank you. Thank you for allowing us to share your love of the game and for teaching us some valuable lessons.
While you are working on moving up in your career, changing jobs or looking for a new one, take some time out to go enjoy the great game of baseball. It may not land you that job, but it will give you a break you need and the opportunity to soak in the bliss that I call baseball.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Brand Strategist & Career Coach
Certified Professional Resume Writer