"Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it. ~Bill Bradley"
Baseball, more than any other sport, recognizes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to achieving the best success possible. What we’re talking about is Teamwork Skills, the crucial part of everyday life, not to mention academic and business pursuits, and even family matters. You’ve seen a single snowflake: it’s puny and fragile, but just look at what snowflakes can do when they stick together!
Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.)
From carpooling to the game to doing drills, attending league BBQs, practices, and big games, you’ll form friendships and loyalties that can last a lifetime. As you spend time with your team mates and take pride in each other’s successes and help each other out, you create camaraderie that provides the fun and motivation to work towards common goals. You learn to count on each other’s playing abilities, you trust coach to be fair, organized, dedicated and enthusiastic. In turn, the coach can trust the team to be on time, prepared, ready to work, and ready to learn.
The Fast Track to Knowledge
Say you’re pretty darn good at shortstop, but then you try out first base which is also cool. Then you get put in the catcher position but it stresses you out, making you long to be shortstop again! It would be pretty hard to arrive at those conclusions all by yourself. It takes real time interacting and practicing with a team for you to be able to try out all of those roles. Over time, you may specialize in being shortstop, but another team member is an AMAZING catcher and wouldn’t trade it for anything. The combination of everyone’s strengths and interests, as well as the combined perspectives that come with each role on the field, strengthens everyone’s understanding of baseball and how to play well. Also, the healthy competition you share with each other will help you to excel.
The Baseball Puzzle Machine
Baseball is a mental game. No matter how many star hitters you have on your team, it’s not about any one individual that brings success to your game, it’s teamwork. Using your noggin and strategizing how to win a game has nothing to do with how athletic you are, it’s about creating the best chances the team can muster to reach the best result. How is the line up designed? Who can get a base hit, who could steal second, what defensive play will do what it takes to get the group closer to a win? Teamwork is at front and center when it’s brains over brawn to overcome the odds in the race for victory.
Your Team, Your Tribe
Nothing makes you more comfortable in your own skin than working with others. On a baseball team, you learn valuable “people skills.”The baseball isn’t going to throw itself, and if you just think stuff and never say stuff, no one can read your mind. You have to learn how to ask for and receive the kinds of plays and drills you want. You’ll learn how to encourage your team mates, and they’ll in turn learn how to encourage you. Coach has some constructive criticism, and you’ll learn to take it in and keep it in mind next time you’re at bat or catching those fly balls. Even the most quiet and shy person needs to come forward on a baseball field, frequent activities and exercises can bring shy or timid people out of their shell. It’s okay to speak out or cheer another team mate, it’s encouraged.
Okay you’re at bat, and no one is on bases, and you’re just dying to try and wallop that ball into the next park over, but that just wouldn’t be proper now, would it? Your team is down on runs, it’s much better to aim for first or second, giving the hitters behind you (you know their stats, so you know they can do it) to load those bases and bring the score up. Your decision and your participation is a high priority for your team mates.
You want to be eligible to bat next week which means you have to stay home and study now, what a DRAG. There is the most fun and awesome birthday party with video games, pizza and a swimming pool just 10 doors down, but you’ve got to make the sacrifice and do your work, because your team is counting on you.