As soon as the players stepped on the field to warm up, the little kids started yelling at the top of their lungs, “CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH!!!????!?!!!?!?” While these requests were mostly ignored, a couple of players and coaches would say “Sorry, we are working right now but we will sign when we are done.” More on that later...
You can feel the excitement when the players take the field for the first time in months. The atmosphere is electric! The opportunity to be a part of spring training performance testing over the past several years has been amazing! This past year made the biggest impact on me. Here is what I learned:
The players were encouraging to each other on the field
As they made plays, they would cheer for each other. It was so amazing to see and hear the positivity especially during a practice. It made me think? Does our team cheer for each other that way? Does yours? When I ask this question of others, I frequently hear the response “My team is so negative toward each other.” “The culture is so bad.” “The manager only criticizes.”
Here is what I have found. You can wait for other people to start cheering you on, but it will likely never happen. You have to cheer others on first -- especially those who don’t ever cheer for you (they may even be cold or negative toward you). Culture starts with you. You have to do this and also recognize it will take a LONG time for it to be reciprocated. Even if it is never returned to you, you will be happier as a result. So either way, it is a win-win.
I saw players pick up their own baseballs in the batting cage
I saw these guys who were worth millions pick up their own baseballs in the batting cage. They could have had anyone do it for them, but they didn’t. This humbled me and reminded me that I need to get my hands dirty and do the daily, simple tasks that the team needs. Nothing is below me. I need to ask myself daily, what is in front of me that I can do ESPECIALLY if it is not my job?
The players were at WORK but were having fun
So, back to the kids yelling, “CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH!!!????!?!!!?!?” and the players and coaches that replied “Sorry, we are working right now but we will sign when we are done.” SIDE NOTE: I really respected the players and coaches who did actually come back and sign.
I think it is hard for people to recognize that the players are working. I think this is for two reasons. First, they are playing baseball. It is a game that children play. But if you have been around baseball, you recognize how grueling it can be to take thousands of ground balls and countless hours of BP each and every year for decades. To maintain focus and intensity is unreal. The other reason is that the players are having fun doing what they are doing and who they are doing it with. Both are key. It is important to ask ourselves, “Do we love what we are doing and who we are doing it with?” If not, why not? Before all the excuses start to form, remember it is possible to have a career that you love!
There is no way to get a career you love if you don’t believe it is possible. We’d love to convince you that it is possible and also help you create it. Visit our site at Professional Rebellion to help you get started on a career that you love. Check out our PT Rebel Starter Kit and Bulletproof Career Rebellion 3.0