Growing up in Boston as a Red Sox fan, I never thought I’d be writing an article about Derek Jeter (we all know that Nomah is bettah than Jettah…). I think that working in Major League Baseball for so many years and having the opportunity to work with players from every Major League team has made me a bigger fan of the game in general. (Photo Credit)
Perhaps I’ve lost some of the magic, but I’m just as much of a Yankees fan as I am a fan of the Red Sox and a fan of every other MLB team.
I’m a fan of an excellent performance. I’m a fan watching young players blossom. I’m a fan of watching the game played the right way. I’m a fan of the players I work with and help become better. I’m a fan of the game, so I’m a fan of Derek Jeter.
5 Things We Can All Learn from Derek Jeter
As Jeter says his farewell to baseball, it made me think about what we can all learn from his amazing career. Here are 5 things about Derek Jeter that stand out to me.
There is a big difference between willpower and discipline. Chris Brogan speaks about this well in his latest book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. People often ask me how I have the time or willpower to contribute to my website, make more programs, own a physical therapy and performance center, and still somehow have a life and family.
As Chris says, it has nothing to do with willpower, it’s all discipline. Chris says:
“Willpower is when you want to do something different and force yourself to do what you believe is the better choice.” Discipline is actually working hard to REPEAT the task that you know will make you better.
Do you think Jeter took a lot of days off from batting practice? Do you think Jeter had donuts for breakfast every morning? You think Jeter showed up late to the park and was unprepared for the game?
I get it, there are a lot of conflicting interests in this world. Discipline is crafting your long term vision of what you want out of your life and then making decisions based on this vision.
Honestly, what good is discipline with out consistency? I would say the two things that impressed me most about Jeter’s career were his discipline and his consistency.
Take a look at Jeter’s career stats over at Baseball-Reference.com.
Notice a trend here? There are really no significant dips and jumps in his performance. Sure there are some years that are better than others, but that is one heck of a consistent career.
To illustrate this, lets compare his rookie year of 1996 to 2012:
- 1996 – 157 games, .314 batting average, 104 runs, 10 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 14 steals
- 2012 – 159 games, .316 batting average, 99 runs, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, and 9 steals
Pretty impressive to be that consistent over 20 years and 2700 games.
Consistency breads dependability and trust. We are developing a systemized approach to our model of integrated physical therapy, fitness, and sports performance at Champion Physical Therapy and Performance. Why? So we can build a reliable service to our clients with repeatable and predictable results.
Want to get ahead in life? Focus on consistency.
Lead By Example (Positively)
There are many different kinds of leaders in this world. There are the loud and vocal leaders, the motivators, the “pump up the crowd” kind of people. The ones that want the attention and lead to gain the spotlight. The manic-depressive crowd.
There are also the quite and consistent leaders that lead by example.
Leading isn’t necessarily a good thing, there are many examples of “negative” leaders. People that are captivating and engaging and actually set the WRONG example! Like it or not, these are leaders.
But luckily there are also the “positive” leaders. The leaders that set the example, that push others just by being so disciplined and consistent.
In the long run, I’ll take the type of leaders like Jeter, the positive leaders that consistently lead by example. To me, this is as much educating and motivating, as it is leading. This is what young professionals need to learn.
And don’t forget, this applies to anyone. You can lead others in any direction, meaning you do not have to be in a position of authority to be a leader. John Maxwell has an excellent book on this call The 360 Degree Leader.
Don’t Rock the Boat
One of the most interesting things about Jeter to me is how neutral he has stayed on everything throughout his career. While I’m sure he had plenty of opinions, it’s usually not in anyone’s best interest to blurt them out every night on SportsCenter.
Many of the “guru’s” on the internet should really take this one to heart. Unfortunately controversy sells. However, realize we are all probably going to change our opinions and adjust our thought process based on past experiences and knowledge gained.
Don’t be that person that is so definitive in their thought process AND doesn’t mind telling the world about it! Have an open mind and try to avoid rocking the boat, it always comes back to haunt you!
When you are so vocal about something, you start to focus on defending your stance instead of keeping an open mind.
Treat Everyone the Right Way
One of the sentiments within baseball is that Jeter is a “good guy.” I’ve had the opportunity to meet Jeter several times. I’ve seen him walk into the training room of an All-Star game just to introduce himself and say hello to the staff. Not everyone does that, in fact most don’t.
Baseball has a funny way of changing people. The players have everything in the world given to them and are treated as rock stars at all times. Imagine arriving at a hotel at 4:00 AM and having a line of people asking for your autograph as you get off the bus! It’s hard to stay grounded.
Treating people the right way is the corner stone of any relationship. You are not a better human or person in this world because you can hit a fastball, or because you have accumulated $275 million dollars over your baseball career. These may be extreme examples, but it applies to us all.
As we move on today as the first official day in the last 20 years that Derek Jeter is not a professional baseball player, keep these 5 principles in mind. Yankee fan or not, there are plenty of things we can all learn from Jeter’s amazing career.