What does baseball spring training have to do with personal goal development? Quite a bit, actually. I married a professional minor-league baseball player. It didn’t matter if you were in the majors or the minors, you showed up when baseball spring training came around. Three days after we were married, we landed in Tucson, Arizona and rented an apartment that would be our first home for a month. I was very excited to be a part of this life, although I knew very little about baseball. I had been raised practicing the piano for hours upon end, memorizing concertos, writing band charts and touring. However, I found many applicable principles in the sport of baseball for almost any career, whether in business or entertainment. There are specific seasons for goal setting and personal development in most every business as there are specific seasons for training in sports. The difference is that in sports, the physical body is pushed to the max for nearly every day during seven months, putting your all on the line. Then in the off season, there is a period of intentional recovery.
My husband stated this principle so well, “To refine skills in the off season takes a delicate balance of allowing the body to recover and periods of focused practice.” If you didn’t take time to let the body recover as well as stay in shape during those months in the off-season, you would not be ready for the rigors of spring training. The daily schedule for baseball spring training included drills every morning, then an afternoon game, totaling at least 8 hours. As I was not accustomed to living with an athlete, I was unprepared for our trip to the grocery store after the first day of practice. Greg was extremely thirsty and put so many drinks in our cart that I was sure our monthly budget would be spent in just that one visit.
Putting your all on the line becomes possible when you have a clear goal in sight. (See Goal Setting here) Growing up, I was accustomed to goals that were set for me when I had to compete or perform. However, when we don’t have those guidelines set for us, we need to set our own specific goals. (See downloadable Goal Setting Worksheet here) Just as the principle of focused practice is extremely important as a musician, speaker and athlete, specific and focused goals are important to move ahead in a career and business. Make sure you check out Stuck is Not a Four-Letter Word, also with a free downloadable study guide.
Because I have been asked so many times who Greg played for and what position he played, I will leave you with that information. He was a relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, playing all levels up to Triple A. As I discovered Triple A meant more than roadside service, I also discovered there are many life principles we can successfully apply from baseball spring training, no matter what business we are in. It’s definitely worth thinking about!
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