Formal education is not the only way we can learn.
School can only teach us to a certain point, but we need to find other sources of information and knowledge.
This is why informal education can sometimes be the key to our personal or professional development.
That includes our hobbies, activities, life experience, and even the sports we play. And, baseball can teach us some valuable lessons.
Baseball is a team sport that requires the teammates to read each other’s minds and develop strong connections with each other. Let’s take a look at the valuable lessons on teamwork that baseball can give us.
1. Building Trust
Baseball teams that can build trust are more successful.
In fact, teamwork and trust often beats talent
(Remember when the 2006 Marlins beat the Yankees in World Series?
This was in spite of the massive payroll the Yankees enjoyed, having spent $100 Million MORE than the Marlins on acquiring a team full of super stars.)
So if sports has taught us anything, it’s that an “All Star” team of selfish superstars can bomb quickly. When you bring together a massive amount of talent and ego, and combine that with a lack of trust in each other, the result is usually catastrophic.
In order to build trust, successful teams train and practice together for hours, learning about each other, and getting to know everyone individually.
That helps the team thrive and move forward.
So, without mutual trust, no team can be successful. There needs to be:
- ability to rely on your teammates
- the certainty that you’re all on the same page
This applies to any team you can imagine- from school project teams to business teams. Trust is the foundation.
And, once the players feel this mutual support (AKA, you know you are doing your best to contribute to the team, and vice versa – the team is there for you) there are loads of benefits… self-image is improved, as well as individual and team performance (source).
2. Knowing Your Role
Each baseball player has an important role in the team. Each position requires a different type of focus and physical characteristics.
Research shows that baseball players are able to “apply their strong “drive” towards a definite objective by exercising self-discipline”. They know what they need to do, and they know how to make it happen.
That’s why everyone in the team must know their individual responsibilities.
Knowing your role in the team will help you:
- contribute with what you do best
- do your part of the job
- be a valuable member of the team
Dorian Martin, a sports writer and editor at TrustMyPaper agrees: “Baseball is the perfect example of how a team should function. Everyone knows their individual tasks which contribute to the success of the team as a whole. It’s a winning strategy”.
3. Following the Guidance
No baseball team can be successful without a trained and experienced coach to guide them. Coaches are the ones who can significantly impact the player’s self-esteem, motivation, attitudes, and success on the field (source).
But, the coach cannot play the game for you.
Baseball is teaching us the importance of proper leadership in a team:
- every team needs a leader who can motivate, strategize, and guide
- team members need to trust him and learn from him
- still, team members need to perform on their own when the time comes
Following the right guidance can be the key to successful performance on the field, in the office, or any other type of team and group.
4. Building Your Skills
Baseball is an ideal example of how every individual player contributes to the success of the team. With each player working hard to improve their hitting, base running, throwing, or fielding skills- the team is growing stronger and stronger.
This should be the main principle in every other team:
- work on your individual skills
- figure out what your team expects you to do
Skilled baseball players know what to focus on and when’s their time to shine. This should be the case with any team member, anywhere.
5. No Pointing Fingers
A team is not a team only when they’re winning.
A team’s a team even during hardships and failure. And if the players don’t support each other during a weak season, they’re putting the team at risk.
Successful baseball teams won’t fall after a lost game. They won’t look for someone to blame, even if an individual player made an obvious mistake that may have cost them their victory.
There’s no pointing fingers.
So, the lesson they’re teaching us here is about having each other’s back:
- you’re all in it together
- you’ll rise after you fall
- if someone feels responsible for the failure, the others encourage them to keep going
A 2000 study showed the importance of this type of mental strength. It argues that a winning or a losing streak can significantly impact players’ motivation and performance.
That’s why teams need to support each other and build mental stability.
Teams everywhere should look up to baseball players and find the same level of mutual support and mental strength.
Baseball is a group sport in which each player matters a lot. It allows us to find resemblance and draw conclusions on how to act in other teams we might be a part of.
Use the lessons that baseball teaches you about teamwork, and apply them to your team to make it more efficient, successful, and strong.
Donald Fomby is a freelance writer and blogger with years of experience covering topics he’s passionate about. He works as an editor at SupremeDissertations, but he actively blogs about psychology, sports, travel, and personal growth.