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Beating the Odds

Victory and Adversity

By the time we see them, players in the World Series are already wearing the trappings of a big-leaguer.

But it wasn’t always that way for them. David Eckstein, named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Fall Classic, was a college walk-on who earned his scholarship only through persistent work. Cole Hamels, who won the Series last year, broke his arm in high school, causing some pro teams to lose interest in him.

And so amid all the hoopla of the matchup between the New york Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, it’s easy to forget that every single player had to overcome some form of adversity just to get there.

As team-building coach Gary Pritchard says, “Everybody who got where they are started from where they were.”

Just look at Alex Rodriguez. Until his success in this year’s playoffs, he was reviled as someone who could not produce in the pressure of October. Suddenly — likely because of a more relaxed atmosphere in the Yankee clubhouse — Rodriguez has been able to enjoy himself.

Jermaine Dye, MVP of the 2005 Chicago White Sox, only four years earlier had shattered his fibula, requiring a long and difficult comeback.

As sports psychologist Dr. Rob Gilbert says, “I setback is a setup for a comeback.”

Only one thing can test your ability to handle adversity, and that is adversity itself.

So no matter who wins the World Series MVP — no matter how easy they make it look — the road has not been easy.


One comment for “Victory and Adversity”

  1. Thanks Coach Tully for this valuable rescourse which can apply to any area of life. I will use it liberally, not because we are old friends, but your site is the real deal.
    I think that first step in a journey is like pulling your foot out of molasses. I guess you are not on your way unless you under way I think that applies to everything in life. Asking out that girl who you like, but makes you nervous and clumsy and feel like a acne-faced teenager. Putting down booze, drugs, cigarette and anything else that you know is not going to have a positive outcome in your life. So many times I’ve only seen limitations, instead of possibilities, so many times I’ve thought of what is going to go wrong, so many times I looked at my past and saw all my failures and shortcomings, and so many times those predictions came true as I sat there locked up mentally and emotionally and unable to move.
    Under the lash of alcoholism I am just starting to climb out of that self defeating thinking. My wonderful friend, Akbar Muhammad, a very successful man in all aspects of the boxing business said to me one day recently as I was trashing my myself to him over a failed relationship, “From now on, the only language we are going to speak is “WINNING”.
    I can’t tell you why that struck a nerve. It was like the link to the old me, who was very successful, but quite frankly, had turned into a loser. I had been to 12-step meetings, rehabs, counseling, psychiatrists and I learned a lot about myself, but I was never 100 percent committed to my recovery. One thing I did do right, or a higher power did for ne, was I never comnpletely quit on me. With each slip, hope would dininish down to a flicker, but not vanish. Last year on this day April 23rd, I lost best friend to alcoholism. He didn’t want to be in the game and nothing I could say or do could make him. I used to say to him, “Don’t you wanna be around, if for no other reason, just to see how it all turns out?” And he would just stare through yellow eyes at me, a blank expression on his face. It was his way of saying he didn’t share my curiosity about life.
    A day at a time I’m learning the language of winning. No matter what, today I will see possibilities, not limiiations. No matter what, today I will live in the solution, not the problem. No matter what, today I will stay on course to be a winner.

    Posted by Logan Hobson | April 24, 2011, 3:55 pm

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