Minor League Baseball provides valuable lessons that can be applied to everyday life. Here are some of the 4 most important things you can learn from playing at a Minor League level:
1) Teammates have your back 2) Keep working hard 3) Never give up and never stop trying 4) You’re not in this alone
The “minor league baseball teams” are a great way to teach kids valuable lessons. Here are 4 manly lessons from minor league baseball.
Vance Albitz, AAA infielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, contributed this guest article.
When you take away the big-league ballplayers’ enormous paychecks and the sold-out stadiums where they play, it’s no surprise that many people believe the actual love for baseball is found in the minor leagues. Now, ask any little leaguer about these two facts, and he’ll tell you right away: 1) He’ll go to any length to get out of the minors and into the majors, and 2) the minor leagues have more levels than you probably imagined (most teams have six minor league affiliates: Rookie Ball, Short Season-A, Low-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A). Of all, with the exception of a select few, the only way to reach the majors is to work your way up from the bottom.
This will be my sixth season in professional baseball, and I’ve already played in five minor league levels. I’ve played with hundreds of different players, and although each one has their own personality, those that succeed in this game all tend to do a few things in common. These behaviors also happen to be what takes you forward not just in baseball and sports, but in any career or position you could find yourself in.
Here are four things I’ve learnt from folks who have succeeded in climbing the corporate ladder:
First and foremost, establish a routine that works for you.
There are several things a player must do to prepare for a baseball game, including nutrition, weight training, batting practice, and defensive preparation. However, each individual is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Many pros will tell you that higher-level players do not have greater skill than lower-level players, but they are more consistent. Consistency off the field will almost certainly lead to consistency on the field.
I’ve observed that I play better on days when I get up early and perform a little exercise, run, or yoga. I attempted to implement it into my everyday routine as soon as I realized it and saw an instant improvement in my performance. Many of my coworkers would cringe at the prospect of choosing morning yoga over sleeping in, but that is the joy of having a personal schedule.
Mike O’Neill, one of my favorite teammates, is the most disciplined athlete I’ve ever encountered when it comes to sticking to his regimen. He listens to Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” thirty minutes before every game, eats the same sandwich for lunch every day (for six months), and runs to the outfield from the dugout with the same same stride pattern every inning during home games (he crosses the foul line with his right foot, touches second base with his left foot, and then jogs to his position in the outfield). He’s also one of the most reliable gamers I’ve ever encountered.
But be cautious; the line between habit and superstition is thin. However, from the standpoint of a baseball player, any option is fine.
Lesson #2: Master the Fundamentals and Remind Yourself of Them Frequently
“The basics don’t change; the only thing that changes is our attentiveness to them,” Michael Jordan stated. The work of a baseball player is not too difficult. He’ll have to catch the ball, throw it, and hit it. As simple as it seems, we have a habit of making things more complicated than they are.
Early in spring training last year, I was having difficulties with groundballs to my left. I finally realized why I was glancing up at the first baseman before the ball was in my glove. “I want to see the button on the top of your cap when you field the ball,” my father used to say when I was a youngster. This fundamental principle proved to be the deciding factor. When a batter is in a funk, hitting instructors will frequently tell them to “go back to the basics.” That is why it is critical to understand them as soon as possible; otherwise, you will spend time practicing the incorrect material.
Lesson #3: Improve Your Skills Today
Make a strength into a super-strength or make a weakness into a super-strength. A player may improve on a variety of physical and mental elements of the game. This is why even the brightest young prospects generally need a few years in the minors before being ready for the big leagues. I try to be honest with myself in order to pinpoint the areas of my game that need improvement, and then I go after them.
Without vision, action is only a waste of time.
What do you need to improve on? Write out what you want to work on today, execute it, and then immediately give yourself feedback on how it went. You’ll have tangible evidence of your development in six months.
Lesson #4: Maintain a positive attitude
“Baseball is a game of failure,” you may have heard. 70% of the time, even the finest hitters in the game fail. Every aspect of baseball will put your self-assurance and mental toughness to the test.
It’s a really humiliating game.
Focusing on the process of achievement rather than the outcomes is one of the best things you can do. Take control of the things you can. Knowing you’ve conquered the things you can manage gives you a sense of accomplishment. Make positive self-affirmations a habit. The mind is always attempting to complete what it sees. Visualize yourself achieving success. Imagine it in your mind’s eye. Accept that you will not be able to attain your objectives. Is it going to happen? It’s incredible what can happen.
This season, I’ll try my best to remember these lessons and do all I can on and off the field to earn a promotion to the majors. Get in the game, put in the sweat equity, and keep following that ambition if you’re trying to level up in your life as well.
What have you taken away from America’s pastime?
- milb teams
- average minor league salary
- triple a baseball salary