This weekend is the big championship weekend for many of the baseball teams in my home town.
So, all the hard work they put in during practices, all the skills and lessons they learned during the regular season all come down to the performance this weekend. And especially today, Championship day.
But I encourage all the competitors, coaches and fans to remember one more lesson.
That lesson is one that may be remembered more and have a bigger impact than most.
More than how to hit a curve ball, more than how to turn a double play, and more than stealing a base.
This lesson is one that if it is not heeded, it can suck the fun out of and steal the joy out of the game.
The lesson is, that no matter what the final score ends up being is it vital to act with class.
WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS.
If a player on the other team makes a great play on a ball you hit. Don’t get mad. Instead tip your cap.
If, in your opinion an umpire misses a call, don’t run out screaming like a mad man. Instead ask questions respectfully and accept their decision.
And if the score is not in your favour at the end of the game, shake hands and wish the other team well in the future games.
LOSE with CLASS.
But just as important is to WIN with CLASS.
When you respect your teammates, your coaches, your opponents and the officials, you are winning with class.
When you refrain from trash talking and putting others down, you win with class.
And when you avoid running up the score or taking the extra base late in a game where you have a huge lead, you are winning with class.
The key fact is this. A couple years down the road most people won’t remember the score of the game.
What they will remember is the friends they meet and the lessons they learn.
And if the lesson you demonstrate is to WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS, then regardless of the score of the game, you will be a winner…guaranteed!
“The willingness to be unselfish and play the game the right way… that is why we are champions.” – Joe Girardi, Manager of the World Champion New York Yankees
“Team spirit is knowing and living the belief that what a group of people can accomplish together is much larger, far greater, and will exceed that which an individual can accomplish alone.” – Dianne Arias