Week 3 (April 18- April 25) BE A GREAT TEAMMATE
The theme of week 3 for WC Baseball is “BE A GREAT TEAMMATE.” Before breaking this down, allow one example of this, Junior pitcher George Dant. He is a now 2-0 on the bump after successfully facing two top 25 teams in Indiana, Brebuf Jesuit and Lawrence North. This is significant because WC has not topped LN since 2011 and has not taken down Brebuf in the last 10 years. George and his teammates are experiencing positive results like this because they have committed to the process of getting better daily and growing as teammates.
The perfect illustration of this is Dant playing catcher his freshman year; not a position he excelled at or even enjoyed, but he knew someone needed to do the job. In a situation where the average high schooler would complain, George sacrificed for the good of the team. Another significant example of this is how Dant’s attitude has remained constant since his time at WC. His freshman season, they go 15-3 but in his sophomore season with Varsity, they only win 3 games. Dant’s demeanor has been stable though the results have changed. He continues to focus on process and progress despite his success this year. The harvest changes from year to year but the farmer still need to cultivate the soil, plant and water.
What people do not know about George is his commitment to getting bigger, faster and stronger. This past summer, he squatted every day for three weeks. Not once did he complain about being sore, rather him and his brother took personal responsibility for their own excellence. He is also a top 10 student in his class and has found a way to pursue his career goals and include Athletic Weights in his class schedule. The game rewards people who are faithful to doing the right things the right way for the good of the team.
What are ‘the Right Things’ headed into week 3?
Connection is defined as the act of putting two things together. Baseball is most clearly a sport of connection. Hitters must connect with the ball, pitchers must connect with the catcher’s glove in the strike zone, hitters need to put together consecutive hits to score runs and fielders must string together three outs per inning. The essence of teamwork is connection- 9 guys working together in complementary roles pursuing a common goal. Many people cite this quote, “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.” Hard work is not the end goal though, the team winning together is. Jon Gordon said, “Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.”
2. Commitment to YOUR Role on the team
Every man yearns for glory and is a function of his desires. Every sport has its glory boys: the guys that get the touchdowns, score the goals, dunk the ball, strike people out and hit the homerun. Everybody wants to be in the spotlight and have their name in the headlines. However, these ‘glory boys’ are only able to do what they do because of other people doing their job. Imagine a football team without the hogs up front. Picture the pitcher throwing to nobody. How about the guy who dishes the assist that leads to the big dunk by the star? Every team has primary, secondary and tertiary roles. The takeaway point is this, ditch your goal and fulfill your role. This may sting initially but nothing great was ever achieved without sacrifice. No one player can do it on their own even if it appears that way at times. He needs the other guys to step up and do their part. A squeeze play, hit and run and double play all require multiple parts to work together. When one part thinks he is more important than the whole, the chain breaks and all suffer. Know your role and fulfill it- it is a beautiful thing when this is done right. Whether you are chasing down a foul ball, working on the field or hitting the game-winning RBI, someone is watching and evaluating how well you do YOUR job.
What is the Right Way in week 3?
An African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This quote summarizes what the WC Baseball coaching staff is looking for in their team this week. The question, “What can I do to help?” needs to replace, “Am I starting today?” Fans and parents need to say, “How did the team do?” rather than “How did you play?” Since team camp, the Warriors have steadily progressed in this. You will notice that things start to go your way when you do a great job controlling the controllables. As a batter with runners on second and third with two outs, you literally cannot control if your line drive lands in the gap or in the outfielder’s glove. However, you can 100 percent dictate whether or not you swing at good pitches with your best swing.
In most 7 inning games, each team will have on average two opportunities to capitalize and win the game. You saw the Warriors on both sides of this truth in week 2. In game two vs LN, the Warriors turned LN’s errors into a big inning scoring 4 runs. Against Chatard and Cathedral, the Warriors did not capitalize on their two out opportunities at the plate and stranded runners in scoring position. What do the Warriors need to do to be ready for those big opportunities in week three? First of all, they need to be mentally and physically prepared. For mental preparation, the Warriors are spending time listening to Steve Springer, the mental coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. The players are required to listen to the CD and answer questions to improve their approach to each game. For physical preparation, the Warriors really need to punch the clock during practice. Baseball plays so many games that every moment of practice needs to be cherished. WC needs to focus on what they can control.
What can every player control?
1. His commitment to the process of daily improvement. Attitude and effort need not be affected by results.
2. Putting team before self
3. Disposition to serve rather than be served
4. An acceptance of reality. There is peace in acceptance.
5. TWTW= the will to win. In other words, when you hit potholes, keep driving and find a way. The road to greatness is bumpy and there is not much traffic on the extra mile. Emphasize solutions rather than problems.
6.Having my teammate’s back and trusting he has mine= Focus of week 3
7. Taking pride in everything I do and holding my teammates accountable to same standard
For the Good of the Team- BE A GREAT TEAMMATE
Poor teammates think of their team as a car- a hunk of parts that gets them to where they want to go. If they do not like the way it is working, they ditch it and get a new one. On the other hand, great teammates think of their team like their own body. If something is wrong with it, they understand that it is their responsibility to fix it. If they jam their wrist or hurt their shoulder, they go see the trainer; they do not chop it off. Great teammates nurture and care for the whole team. They take personal responsibility for its health and growth. If WC Baseball players internalize the concept of WC Family, look for them to do big things this week.
Here is a quick self-assessment to evaluate how you are doing as a teammate. This has wide usage and could be utilized for husbands, CEOs or baseball players.
1.Are you doing everything you can right now for the good of the team?
2.What else could you do today that would benefit the team tomorrow?
3.How have you honored your teammates in the past week? How about your coaches? How about your parents and teachers?
4.In what ways have you served others in the last week?
5.What part of your mental preparation process needs to improve? Do you even have a mental preparation routine?
6.What would your teammates say about your attitude and effort?
7.Many great people have played the game of baseball and have left impressive legacies. Would men like Jackie Robinson, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. be encouraged or discouraged by the type of teammate you are?
8.How many 1 on 1 conversations have you had to encourage a teammate in last week?
9.Are you letting results control your mindset? If so, how do you need to reshuffle the deck and change your mindset?
10.How does it go for you when you prioritize yourself over the team? Then why do you keep doing it?
This week’s schedule
*Game cancellations will result in indoor practice plan with cage, bullpens & film sessions until 6 pm. Saturday practice location is TBD but will start in LR (opens at 8:30 am).
1. Follow WC Baseball on Twitter @wchard90
2. If you are on study tables, you are required to go two times per week. Midterms are fast approaching so get it done in the classroom.
3. Unexcused absences from practice do affect playing time. Plan accordingly.
4. Varsity Tech makeup is 5/9. All schedule changes are reflected on the schedules that are handed out at Saturday practices.
5. Prom is 4/30. Varsity plays Guerrin Catholic at 10 am that day. JV/C practice will be done by 11:30 am on 4/30. Plan accordingly.