Author: Jamie Corr- High School Coach
To all my former players,
What a Lifetime in Baseball Can Teach You About Life Itself
Today marks the end of my 38th and final season in baseball as a player or coach. The first time I set foot on the diamond at five years old, I instantly fell in love. At that age everybody got to hit, everybody played the field and everybody went to Dairy Queen for ice cream after the game. As I got older, I realized things were not always Sunday hops and Sundae treats. This game was different than the other sports; this game was built on failure. If you are big, strong and fast you will have a chance to be good at most athletic ventures. But in baseball, none of that matters if you are not mentally strong as well. At some point in time, I have talked to each of you about hitting approach, form fielding, pitching mechanics, blocking balls in the dirt or baserunning. While I hope you pass those long-standing principles of this great game along to your kids, or even grandchildren one day; more importantly I hope you remember the following 3 things baseball has taught me about life over the last four decades.
1. Everybody has the ability to hustle, but not everybody does.
Coaches can require you to run out every ground ball, or get on and off the field at 7/8 speed each inning, but the true desire to go as hard as you can at all times is purely intrinsic. You either have it or you don’t. This skill not only determines who reaches their full potential on the field, but who excels in the workforce once you hang up the spikes as well. If you are lazy in your defensive drills, you will make errors. If you are lazy in your BP rounds, you will have awful QAB’s. If you are lazy in your responsibilities and drive to work, you will have to settle for a job underneath your full potential. You can leapfrog almost all of your competition simply by out-hustling them.
2. BIG TEAM, little me.
Baseball teaches us one of the most important principles any society can be built on; sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving yourself up so the team can move forward. Foregoing all individual accolades so the team can have the glory. Never worry about what will happen to you if you give yourself up. Solely focusing on what you are asked to accomplish to put the team in the best position to WIN. That’s what coaches and CEO’s are looking for. That’s what will move you up the corporate ladder. Next time you brush your teeth, ask the man in the mirror this simple question; do you have the guts to throw yourself on the grenade so the entire platoon doesn’t perish?
3. Do you have the ability to get back up?
Baseball is cruel. Baseball is humbling. Baseball is torture. Baseball can throw you down on your back and step on your throat. That’s why soccer is booming. In our game, most kids experience their first taste of failure and QUIT. The successful players are the ones who can press forward even when they are struggling. Life is going to be cruel. Life is going to be unfair. And yes, life is going to step on your throat. Roll with the disappointments and move on. Be strong for your family and lead them through good times and bad. No one will ever remember how many times you got knocked down, they will only remember if you always got back up.
I have been privileged to serve 435 of you in the last 21 years of coaching, and am very proud to call you all “my guys”. Thank you for giving me your dedication, your commitment and your desire.
My love to each of you and your families,
-And as always, “Call me if you need me.”