These qualities go way beyond a baseball field or athletic venue, and may just help you pick the right people for your business.
My buddy Mike Spiegel always says “Play your best 9, not your 9 Best” It took me a while to understand that but I get it, Do you?
As a coach my job is to win baseball games, but as a person I feel it is equally, if not more important to win ball games with quality individuals who want to graduate and do something productive with their lives. All too often academics are sacrificed for the opportunity to get really good players. When this happens, not only do the baseball program and the athlete suffer when he is ineligible, the school also loses if the kid decides he is not going to graduate. Lip service is often given to the term student athlete, but it needs to become a priority because it is a complete disservice to the players we coach if we allow them to fail or finish their eligibility and not graduate.
The only person that benefits from the above situation is the head coach, because he has used this player to get him some wins and help boost his stock as a coach, but he forgot the commitment he made to the player when he offered him the opportunity to further his education while playing baseball.
As a coach I am looking for kids who have character, work ethic, and talent, and I am looking for those attributes in that order. When you get kids like this, they will give everything they have to the team, and you will not have to worry about them failing classes because they are people who have goals and want to grow up to be something. These players understand the importance of hard work and education, and will only learn more about their importance over the four year period they will be with my staff and I.
Championships are won with players like this, and programs are built to last when a team has players that fit this mold. I will never sacrifice character and work ethic for talent because there is only a small possibility for short term success and strong possibility for short term and long term failure.