I absolutely loved baseball back in the 80s when I was growing up. Could probably name every starting lineup in the National League. I grew up in San Diego County. Can still name the starting lineup of the 84 Padres team that played in their first World Series.
Although he was an American Leaguer, I really loved Don Mattingly. He was such a consistent hitter. I came across this quote a long time ago and copied it right out of the magazine I was reading and have had it in my “Motivation” file ever since. I’ve shared it with a bunch of my teams over the last decade.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GREAT T E A M M A T E!
Team sports are really difficult things. Sometimes your team wins because of you, sometimes in spite of you and sometimes its like you’re not even there. That’s the reality of the team game. Then at one point in my career, something wonderful happened. I don’t know why or how . . . but I came to understand what “team” meant.
It meant that although I didn’t get a hit or make a great defensive play, I could impact the team in an incredible and consistent way. I learned I could impact the team in an incredible and consistent way. I learned I could impact my team by caring first and foremost about the team’s success and not my own. I don’t mean by rooting for us like a typical fan. Fans are fickle. I mean CARE, really care about the team . . . about “US.”
I became less selfish, less lazy, less sensitive to negative comments. When I gave up me, I became more. I became a captain, a leader, a better person and I came to understand that life is a team game. And you know what? I’ve found most people aren’t team players. They don’t realize that life is the only game in town. Someone should tell them. It has made all the difference in the world to me.