The playoffs are finally here. There is a new energy in the dugout and a new intensity in practice. The next days and weeks will be filled with ups and downs as all the work you’ve put in this season gets put to the test. We want you all to be successful and to be the guy who comes through at the right time with the perfect pitch or the clutch hit. But we know that is not always going to happen. In the real world, things don’t always go the way we want them to. So, as the playoffs begin, we want you to keep the big picture in mind.
- No one person wins or loses a baseball game.
Baseball is a team sport. Yeah, we know you know that. But it’s hard to remember that when you give up the game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th or if you hit that homer for your team. It is easy to get caught up in the frustration or the hype, especially in the playoffs. Try not to do that. Any player who thinks the game is on his shoulders is going to have a hard time staying focused and loose. Blaming specific players for losses brings the whole team down. To be a winning team, you’re going to need everyone to come together and stay together through both the ups and downs. Don’t try to do too much, just do your job well.
2. There is no time limit in baseball.
Yep, you know this too, but it is easy to forget this when you’re down by 5 in the 7th. You may be the only guy on your team who believes it, but any comeback is possible. You want your teammates to keep working until the last out is called. Coastal Carolina, the 2016 National Champion is a perfect example of persistence and belief. Keep talking, keep watching; look for ways to win. Don’t expect miracles, expect effort and understand that with the right effort and focus, anything is possible.
3. Coaches and recruiters are looking at more than wins and losses.
Playoffs can be an important time for recruiters to find guys they’ve missed and to check out future prospects. Don’t get caught up thinking you’ll only get noticed if you are perfect on the field. Most coaches and recruiters get a lot of information about prospects, from watching multiple games and listening to other coaches and scouts. You need to be prepared, confident and ready to react if something doesn’t go your way – but not perfect.
4. Baseball is only part of your life.
No matter how many hours you put into your game, baseball can’t be the only thing that matters to you. Your family, friends, interests, dreams, and goals are all part of who you are. You need to keep that in mind when you walk off the field, no matter what happened in the game. Think about it this way, you are either winning or you are learning. In the big picture, baseball is an incredible learning opportunity. If you see it as such, there is no losing.
Keep the big picture in mind and good luck to all of you!