is the third installment of a 9 part series of things I’ve learned over
the years about life whiling playing, coaching, watching or umpiring
baseball. You can find principle #1 here and principle #2 here.
Principle #2 is “Don’t Worry About What Just Happened; Focus On What is About To Happen”
Principle #3 is “Without the Will to Prepare, the Will to Win is Pointless. Nothing More Than Glorified Hubris.”
of the time baseball is a game that is won before the first pitch is
ever thrown so preparation is the key (Note: I only say most of the
time because I shudder at universal statements). Sure the walk off
Larry gets the most attention but how much preparation goes into that
moment? How many decisions over the course of the game lead to that
moment? Recently I watched a game end in a 2-0 shut out. The losing
pitcher gave up zero earned runs. He still lost. I wonder if the short
stop or the right fielder put in enough practice time to be confident
in that game situation.
It always amazes me how people seem to
think that successful people just wake up one day as successful people.
It just doesn’t work that way. It takes hard work and preparation. The
will to win without the will to prepare to win is useless.
Success follows preparation, period. It’s true in baseball and it’s
true in life. I used to work in the food service business and nowhere
was this principle more evident to me than there. The difference
between successful servers and non-successful servers was the fact that
the successful ones prepared. The difference in a good shifts and bad
shifts was the level of preparation that went into each shift.
No one can step up to a plate and just hit successfully. No pitcher can
be successfully over the long haul if he doesn’t prepare. If he doesn’t
hone his skill and study his opponent he will not succeed on pure
talent alone. It’s in the preparation that we hone those skills. How
does a guy who can’t hit a curveball learn to hit it? You guessed it,
preparation. So baseball has taught me that preparation is the key to
success. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Study, study, study.
your skills. If you try something and fail, study what you did. Look at
what went right, what went wrong. Schedule time in your day to look at
what you’re doing. Take time to prepare. Have a will to prepare, at the
end of the day that is far more important than your will to win.