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Beating the Odds

Winning the Big One

Former LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman once did a video called “Winning the Big One.” In it, Bertman spoke of the daily, constant, relentless effort to improve.

I’m not sure if Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has seen the video, but his drive to improve has brought a motivational gem to the clubhouse.

As related in this story by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Girardi wants each player to pick out a motivational quote, read it to the team, and explain what it means to him.

Girardi came up with the idea because, in the way outlined by Coach Bertman, he was looking for a better way to use the daily 15 minutes he spends with the team.

I can’t wait to try this idea with my own players. It works on so many levels: it forces the player to do some research, it tells his teammates a little bit about him; it applies to everyone on the team; and it reflects Girardi’s drive to find better ways of doing things.

Of course, this exercise is like any other in the sense that the players can either go through the motions or get into it. Some players will forget about it until the last minute, then grab a quick quote from the Internet on the way to the ballpark.

Others, like Alex Rodriguez apparently did, take great care and make their time with the team a meaningful one.

Many thanks to Fred McMane, an excellent coach at Foxcroft school in Virginia, for sending the article.

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