Oh, those glorious days of summer as a child. How we miss them and the activities that played such a big part in our early growth and development. America’s great pastime was a big part of my summer activities growing up, and I learned a lot about baseball and much more about life from my little league experiences.
The 2015 Little League World Series began in mid-July and it always brings back many of those great memories. My last year of little league we won the K.C.K. City Championship in the 15-16 Year Old Division. Winning the championship was the single greatest moment of my life, up to that point, and taught me a lot about what ‘winning in life’ is all about.
Baseball is a lot like life. It’s day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” – Ernie Harwell
Yes, our day-to-day existence is chock full of ups and downs. As mentioned previously, the five years I played little league taught me many valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my life. Here are just a few of those ‘winning in life’ lessons that I hope will serve as helpful reminders for you as well …
- Keep your eye on the ball. Focus is a key to success in any endeavor. Pay attention to the details, particularly those that will enable you to reach your goals.
- The most talented don’t always win. Great teamwork and execution trumps talent in sports and business alike. We didn’t have the best players when we won the championship. However, we had excellent coaching and played well together as a cohesive team.
- Don’t shy away from competition. Embrace it. Competition at any level enables us to challenge ourselves to improve and to perform at a higher level.
- Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes and failures are as much a part of life as breathing. Learn from them, make the necessary adjustments to move forward, but don’t allow them to diminish you.
- Practice makes perfect. Work on your “game”. Commit to daily self-improvement and development in all areas. You can’t expect to get better by staying the same.
- Everyone has their BIG MOMENT. Don’t dwell on it. Keep things in the proper perspective and learn to normalize the emotional highs and lows associated with daily living.
- “It ain’t over until it’s over”. How many come from behind victories in sporting events have you seen in your lifetime? Perseverance is critical to winning and success in every pursuit you’ll undertake in life.
- Be a good sport. I saved this one for last, because both winning and losing tend to bring out the worst in people. However, leadership is about learning to ‘take the high ground’ and being a positive role model in good times and in bad.
“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing”.
Final thought; far too many people in our modern day society take this quote from the great Vince Lombardi out of context. As a result, their focus becomes more about winning at all costs, rather than striving for excellence in all that they do, and helping others achieve success.
However, isn’t striving to be your best and helping others really what winning in life should be about? Your thoughts.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2015 John Carroll