How to Compete With Heart in Baseball
In sports, we hold in high regard those athletes who compete with “heart.”
Having heart is a term reserved for athletes who fight until the end, who persist despite the odds or forge forward no matter the challenge is. Having heart is the hallmark of champions or warriors.
What makes some athletes rise to challenges while other athletes dread the very same circumstances?
Some ascribe genetics as the reason for certain athletes having heart but there is something more to having heart than mere birthright.
If you examine the accomplishments of those athletes or teams who are said to compete with heart, you can get a better understanding of this warrior-like quality.
For example, the New York Mets were 60-62 on Aug. 19 with their chances of a second consecutive playoff appearance slipping from their grasp.
The Mets were considered to have the best starting rotation heading into the 2016 season but injuries decimated their staff.
Terry Collins, whose job was on the line midseason, stated the Mets stayed tough when it counted and refused to give into the negative circumstances the team faced throughout the season.
COLLINS: “They could have given up after all the injuries but if you’re going to play in our town, you better have heart. You better have character to play in New York City.”
The Mets surged back in the final months of the season and, with their 87-75 record, earned the top wild-card spot and home-field advantage against the San Francisco Giants.
COLLINS: “We had to claw and scratch and fight. We had to deal with a lot of stuff that made it tough. In August I was thinking, ‘How are we possibly going to accomplish this? With all these young guys…so many guys banged up.’ But we still managed to do it.’’
The Mets epitomize the quality of having heart and Collins provided the clue to the origin of the heart question.
COLLINS: “You’re going to get knocked down and you better be able to get up. I think we did that.’’
You see, everyone faces adversity. STUFF HAPPENS! What you do with that “stuff” determines your ultimate outcome.
And get ready for this amazing news flash… You get to choose how you will respond to adversity. That’s right, you get to choose to lie on the mat or get up and continue the fight.
The more you respond with a fighting mentality, the greater reserves of heart you will develop for those critical competitive moments in your career.
If you choose the right mindset, you could be that athlete others speak about who competed with heart.
Tips for developing your “mental” heart muscle:
Don’t wait for adversity to hit before you decide your plan of action. Plan forward. Develop your AAP (Adversity Action Plan). Anticipate and be prepared for anything…
“If this happens, I will do…”
You may not be able to predict what type of challenges you may face, but you can make the choice of how you will respond when you face a challenge!
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