The best catchers are always the best teammates. If you take nothing else from this blog post series on How to Be a Great Teammate, we hope you’ll remember that mantra. If you want to excel as a catcher, you must be a great teammate.
What does it look like to be a great teammate? This is the 21st and final post in this series, and if anything sums up the entire series it is this: Leave the Place Better Than You Found It.
#21: LEAVE THE PLACE BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT
Jeff Tambroni’s message to his team was the same every year: Leave the place better than you found it. George’s teammates said no one embodied this more than him… Every one of his teammates mentioned to me that George was always the last to leave the locker room. The image of George cleaning up while they said goodbye is imprinted in their minds. Some said that they now wished they had helped him more often. They were too busy running off to study or to eat or to see their girlfriends. They were off to live their busy lives. But George was focused on leaving the place better than he found it, and nothing can describe his time at Cornell better than Jeff Tambroni’s mantra. George left the Cornell lacrosse program better than he found it (Gordon, Jon (2015-04-24). The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate (pp. 72-73). Wiley. Kindle Edition).
(Jeff Tambroni is the Cornell University Lacrosse Coach, and George is the teammate who is the inspiration for Jon Gordon’s book, The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate.)
Ultimately, our greatness is defined by the impact we have on other people. We remember impressive performances for a time, but they fade from memory quicker than you might imagine. Your stats, awards, or even college scholarship offers don’t make you great… the difference you make in the lives of your teammates makes you great.
George embodied true greatness because the Cornell Lacrosse program will never be the same thanks to George’s powerfully positive impact.
As a teammate, what kind of impact are you having on your teammates and team? What are you doing on a regular basis to leave the place better than you found it?
One awesome, practical way for you to practice this is to be the last person out of the dugout and make sure all the trash is picked up. Even if there was trash before you got there, take the time to leave the dugout cleaner than the way you found it. By using this strategy you are literally leaving the place better than you found it and blessing others by doing so (teams after you, cleanup crews, etc.).
Now, think of place in a metaphorical sense in terms of your relationships with your coaches and teammates – is that relationship better today than it was yesterday? What could you be doing to build someone up and encourage a teammate so that they are better off because of their relationship with you?
Our goal at Catcher University is to help you become the best catcher you can possibly be. We want to help every catcher we come into contact with build greatness in their lives both on and off the field. Your talent and skills are important and certainly play a role in your greatness on the field. That is why we spend a lot of time talking about those things. But, we also want you to remember that true, genuine greatness is far more than skills or stats. It’s making the world around you a better place and leaving the place better than you found it. That is how you be a great teammate, and therefore a great catcher.
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