As the coach of my son’s travelling baseball team, I came up with a mantra of sorts that represents what I want us to be as a team:
Fearless, Fast, and Focused.
Catchy, right? Let me break it down for you.
I heard a story once that before every at-bat, baseball legend Ted Williams would quietly whisper to himself, “Ted [bleeping] Williams, the greatest [bleeping] hitter who ever lived.” It wasn’t about being cocky, it was about believing in himself and reminding himself of what he wanted out of life.
I tell the boys on my team that when they’re in the batter’s box, they’re in charge. It doesn’t matter what the count is, how good the opposing pitcher is, whether the game is on the line, what the weather is like, etc….Nothing is going intimidate them. They’re going up there with every expectation of getting on base.
Ok, so this is really about being aggressive, but that would have killed the alliteration thing I’ve got going on here.
The main point is to do your best in every situation. And once you’ve done your best, do better than your best.
SWING HARD AND RUN FAST!
One base isn’t enough! And the other team isn’t going to just give you a second one, you’re going to have to steal it from them! Hey, turns out two bases isn’t enough either so steal a third!
GREED IS GOOD!
How many outs are there?
How many runners are on base?
What has the umpire’s strike zone been like?
What should you be doing right now?
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WHAT’S COMING NEXT?
I tell the boys that I want them to be their own coaches. I don’t want for me or any of the other coaches to have to yell out the answers to those questions from the dugout. Because what if their next coach doesn’t do that? Or what if the next coach does do that, but realizes he doesn’t have to with you because you’re already a half-step ahead of him?
What if nobody is watching you?
What if none of your coaches are around?
What if you’re not even playing baseball?
Fearless, fast, and focused is how I want my boys playing the game. It’s also how I want them living their lives.