Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Game 6

If you did not see it, you probably have heard about it. Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was one that will be remembered for a long time. I was one of the fortunate to be there in person.

As a fan of the game, the first seven innings were horrible. The Cardinals had just as many errors as they did hits. They actually looked like little leaguers, dropping fly balls, throwing the ball around everywhere, and lack of communication. After that, everyone decided to show up and play. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. The air was sucked out of the stadium when the Rangers hit back-to-back homeruns and later demoralized the fans when they tacked on another run an inning later. So much so, the season ticket holders sitting next to me left in the 7th inning (how on earth do you leave a deciding game of the World Series). Personally I was glad. They had nothing positive to say the entire ballgame. They hated the outfielder that dropped the ball. They hated the third baseman that dropped a routine pop fly (who by the way, was electric at the plate the entire postseason) and they swore at the pitcher that didn’t get the lead runner on a bunt play.

How many Cardinal fans were swearing at the outfielder when the ball dropped between he and the shortstop?

Have you ever played the game and yelled at a pitcher to throw a strike? Or scream at the catcher from the outfield to block the ball?

I can go out on a limb and say that the Rangers player did not purposely let that fly ball go over his head and hit the wall. I am pretty confident the Cardinal INF and OF did not miss those balls on purpose. The Cardinal’s catcher did not just let that ball go by him and let a runner move up.

Here is my challenge to you:
Invest in your teammates. I am very fortunate to still get to see this at the level that I work. They are still invested in the outcome of the team just as much as how they perform individually. Your individual success will help the success of your team. If your teammate misses a groundball that could have been a routine double play, but still gets a runner out – tell him nice stop. If your pitcher is struggling to find the strike zone – words of encouragement go much farther than you screaming at him to just throw strikes and kicking the dirt around.
Emotions can get the best of a person in a competitive situation. The really good ones are invested in their teammates and don’t show them up on the field.

Tying into what Brian said last week – watch yourself. Watch yourself, physically and emotionally. I am talking about your body language and your communication.

Chris Ham, MSA, ATC, CES
Athletic Trainer
Vanderbilt University Baseball

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