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Everything I Learned, I Learned From Baseball

For anyone reading this, there’s little question that baseball is the greatest game on earth. From its history to the fact that it is statistically driven like no other sport. That every pitch brings with it a new strategy, and each game is a complete team effort. The best players fail more often than they succeed, and there are new heroes every day. The ballparks are all different, but the feel is always the same. It’s the feeling of awe watching your favorite players in the same field that housed some of the greatest the game has ever seen. Baseball is a gift, and while the regular season only lasts six months, there is usually something to unwrap year round.

The excitement of Opening Week is matched only come playoff time, so I wanted to take this opportunity to spread some baseball joy. Life can be tough, and baseball can bring happiness as families go out together to the ballpark to celebrate a new season. I’ll be in Detroit this Sunday with my family. Besides the fun and excitement, some lessons can be learned from baseball. In fact, I’m sure all I ever needed to know was taught on the field.

Walls Are Meant to Be Broken

Throughout history walls have fallen; most recently the Berlin Wall in 1989. But, what of the invisible walls we build ourselves around our hearts and minds? Walls are there to protect and some for very good reason. Others are there because of prejudice and stereotyping. While some protection may be necessary, it’s important to be able to break through some of that wall to experience all that life has to offer. Fear can be an example of a wall. Some fear is healthy, but a fear of commitment or a fear of being hurt can jeopardize your life’s happiness.


(video mlb.com)

Sometimes, if You Want Things Done Right,
You Need to Do Them Yourself

This isn’t necessarily true. If you can work together with someone or with a team, getting things done becomes much easier. However, there are instances where time is of the essence, that doing it yourself is the most prudent course of action.


(video mlb.com)

Always Use Your Head

When making decisions, it often comes down to listening to your head or your heart. While your heart is incredibly wise, sometimes an emotional response clouds your better judgment. When you are faced with a decision, put your feelings aside and find which course of action will put you on the right path towards your desired outcome. Intuition is a wonderfully powerful thing, and it’s imperative to pay attention to that, but one needs to listen to their head just a bit louder.


(video mlb.com)

Even a Blind Squirrel Catches the Odd Nut

More of a fun idea than anything else, but underneath lies a modicum of truth. Persistence pays off; you can’t win if you don’t play. The point is to keep trying and never give up. While you may not be very good at something, keep trying, and you may succeed – even if by accident.


(video mlb.com)



People Might Forget Your Successes,
but Never Your Failures

This is a harsh reality. When you fail, people will remember for a long, long time. Do something right, and it’s often just expected, never celebrated. The truth is though that failure is how we learn. It teaches us to do things differently; better. As important though, failure teaches us humility. When you are aware of your vulnerability, you are more likely to be open to the ideas of others. And finally, failure reminds us that we survived our mistakes and are often better for it. That gives us the nerve to try new things. Success may give you confidence, but failure can bring you great courage.


(video Jason Mickel)

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Simply put, pay careful attention whatever situation you find yourself in. There is also the point that one mustn’t count on others to pay attention for them. Everyone needs to be a part of the action. Get out there and contribute to making the world function. Life is not an audience sport; get involved and use the talents given to you.


(video EXE-edits)

Celebrate Your Successes

Whether you have achieved your ultimate goal or just hit a benchmark along the way, do something to congratulate yourself. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Often we never celebrate our successes, and even make light of what we have accomplished, saying “it’s no big deal.” When you condition yourself that your achievements aren’t worth celebrating, it becomes more and more difficult to motivate yourself to not just accomplishing your goals, but to even setting them. So take some time to acknowledge and celebrate each of your successes, no matter how small.


(video mlb.com)

Just Don’t Overdo It

While it’s so important to celebrate your successes, it’s equally important to do it with humility. Make sure you acknowledge and thank others who helped you along the way. I could also have titled this “Pay Close Attention To Those Who Do Not Clap When You Win.” There are many reasons why some don’t celebrate your success. They could be jealous, or they could have just found your work uninspiring. They could be against you, and unwilling to tolerate any success you might have. They also could just be so astonished by what you have done that they forgot to clap. Whatever the case may be, pay attention to these people because there is something to be learned.


(video John MacKay)

Keep Calm Under Pressure

Great leaders always seem to stay calm during situations that would make most of us fall to pieces. But, remaining calm is a skill that can be learned and not a character trait we either have or don’t. Remaining calm under pressure makes you less likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. It will give you a sense of control over the situation as well as over your thoughts and emotions. It will help you to focus on the important things and allow you to make more intelligent decisions. In pressure situations, it’s crucial to accept what is in your control and what isn’t. You can control your response, often by controlling your thoughts beforehand. This takes stepping away from the situation and thinking about how you would like to see the situation resolved and how you can handle in a calm, controlled way.


(video mlb.com)

There’s No Place Like Home

Home is definitely where the heart is; where the people you love are. It’s not just a building, but a place where you are welcomed, accepted and loved. Your home provides you with a sense of identity, a sense of purpose. When you lose that identity, often all you need to do is go home. Don’t let anyone stop you.


(video mlb.com)

 

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Paul Hartman
Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.
Paul Hartman

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3 comments on “Everything I Learned, I Learned From Baseball

  1. Well done. Very enjoyable.

  2. Great stuff Paul. Sports are like life in so many ways.

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