July 26, 2016
Baseball, it’s our nation’s favorite game, but it is more than just a sport; it is a way of life. The lessons learnt on the field as a kid can shape you as an adult, and give you life skills that go beyond the locker room.
Survive Under Pressure
There is nothing else like being on the pitcher’s mound with your teammates behind you; you can see your coach in the periphery of your vision, as you sweat waiting for the ball to come your way. This is akin to being the head of a company, or even of a family. You are center of everyone’s attention, and only you are in control of the outcome of that ball being bowled. All eyes are on you, and the team is relying on you to succeed.
You have two options: you can shy away from your responsibilities, or you can use this elevated position to tackle what’s ahead of you and lead your team to success. The Great Debater
Any baseball fan worth their salt will have had this discussion ten times over, at least: the designated hitter rule. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, you will have had to defend your opinion from 5th Grade. Everybody has an opinion, and debates can get heated, but this great area for controversy allows baseball players from a young age to be able to defend their choices. You will have had to argue this rule over and over, and not only with your friends, your friends’ parents, the school coach- it’s our second national sport.
From a young age, you have learnt to negotiate and get your voice heard. You’ve learnt to listen to others, and occasionally you’ve talked the loudest. You’ve learnt to keep quiet when things get heated, and you probably have learnt to run quickly when the heat boils over.
As a child, your strategy for success in baseball will differ greatly to that as an adult. Your keenness to strike out as many of the opposition as possible was your game plan, and then you wouldn’t have to rely on the kid in the field who wouldn’t know how to throw a ball if his life depended on it. You could single-handedly make this side win.
As an adult, you can see that your best strategy is to encourage those out in the field and motivate them to help you achieve your common goal. You can recognize that you don’t have to be the hero continuously, and that by giving people responsibilities, and valuing their efforts as a team, you are more likely to succeed.
You may be CEO of a multinational, employed to work within a team, or even you are between jobs; the lessons that you have learned out on the field can be carried over into other aspects of your life. The lifelong skills of thriving under pressure, having the tenacity to carry on playing until the end of the game even though there is no chance of winning, and taking pride in being a team, are all there in every childhood game of baseball. Baseball, it is more than just a sport, it is a way of life.