The competition for your spot on the roster is relentless. So, it’s up to you to
make sure that you get noticed by those who decide who is ON and who is OFF the roster.
So how do you get a coach, manager, or GM to realize, and remember, what you're doing now — and even more important for them to grasp what you're truly capable of???
One easy way for progressive professional baseball players to get more people to see their potential is to get and use a wingman. The term wingman comes from aviation in which a wingman (or wingmate) is a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous flying environment. Wingman was originally a term referring to the plane flying beside and slightly behind the lead plane in an aircraft formation.
So here’s how you can use a wingman in baseball to help others see your potential.
First, you must find a reliable wingman. No one likes players who go on and on about how great they are, so that is why you need a wingman. The job of your wingman is to have him do the bragging for you.
People don't like people who self-promote, so it's better to have someone else toot your horn. At this point in your career, you’re not going to hire a publicist, so an option is to find a like-minded teammate to serve as your wingman. You and he can then take turns promoting each other!
Then, at any time you and your teammate can make a point of mentioning each other's accomplishments or where your wingman excels. It may sound artificial or fake, but it doesn't have to be. Just consider it a chance to help your teammate shine — and let him reciprocate by returning the favor.
By finding and using a wingman to help spread the word about your unlimited potential as a baseball player, you can get noticed and move your career along more rapidly to the next level.
Source: How to Get Others to See Your Potential by D. Clark (HBR) May 2013
When it comes to working with the media, former MLB pitcher Tommy John has seen it all. Television, radio, call-in, newspaper, conferences, clubhouse, online, annoying reporters, crazy questions, misquotes, and more. As a progressive professional baseball player, you must learn what it takes to be successful when you're being interviewed by the press. You can get started by listening to Mr. John as he shares his experience and offers advice for baseball players at all levels..
Click on his photo (left) and listen to an audio blog via VoiceThread by Mr. John as he shares important tips on how you can improve your interview skills. Prepare today for tomorrow's interview.
Note: If you are new to VoiceThread, it is an audio recording app on which you can also post a comment--by typing it or recording it; however you'll need to create a free VoiceThread account.
If you like our Audio Blogs, and would like to hear more, complete and submit the form below.
The mentee wants to know things. The mentor wants to give answers. The mentee gets the knowledge. The mentor gets the satisfaction. And there is nothing more satisfying in professional baseball than answering the easy questions often posed by the mentee...either a rookie or player with much less experience than the mentor.
A good mentor shouldn’t be too friendly. Encouragement is overrated. The best thing a mentor can do is give honest, supportive feedback that is focused on brutal facts. A mentor should be a representative of the real world of professional baseball. A mentor should test his mentee as much as assist him. If you’re friends with the mentee, you can’t be his mentor. You are just a more experienced friend and you can occasionally offer advice to that friend, but if you hang out socially on a regular basis, you are not his mentor!
A good mentor should be a little intimidating. Actually, a good mentor should be kind of a jerk. Mentors don’t need to be kind, they need to be right.
A mentee’s checklist:
1. Have at least 5 years less experience than your mentor.
2. Be eager and ask lots of questions.
3. Want the mentor’s job some day.
4. Do not tweet at the mentor.
5. Do not give out the mentor’s email or phone number.
6. Don’t adopt the mentor’s hairstyle or get the same tattoo.
7. Do not commit a crime for the mentor, but briefly consider it.
Source: Guiding Lights by Ross McCammon
Never underestimate the power of a single conversation to strengthen your relationship with your manager.
Successful managers evaluate team members at every encounter and through every conversation. Knowing what your manager is looking and listening for is both a critical survival and success skill for all professional baseball players.
Top 10 Things the Manager Is Thinking About in Every Conversation with His Players:
1. Do I trust you to make good decisions?
2. Do I have confidence in you?
3. How confident are you in yourself?
4. Do you have important information that you're not sharing with me?
5. Does your actual performance match what you think your performance is?
6. Do you tackle problems with the big picture of our team’s goals in mind?
7. How strong are your problem solving skills during actual game situations?
8. Are you a positive influence in the clubhouse?
9. Have you actively sought out the advice or input of others to improve your performance?
10. What else can you do for our club?
When connecting with the manager, think about the questions above and make certain that you can go from the big picture to the details. Managers at all levels like "complete thinkers" who take every opportunity to solve even bigger problems for the teams. Above all, never underestimate the power of a single conversation to strengthen your relationship with your manager.
Some professional baseball players become leaders because their positive energy is so uplifting. Even in tough times, they always find a way. When they walk into the clubhouse, they make it come alive. Their energy makes them magnets attracting other people, and their energy is contagious! These players are considered the team's energizers.
Three things characterize professional baseball players who are energizers.
1. A relentless focus on the bright side. Energizers find the positive and run with it. They don’t let others bring them down. They’re in control of their own feelings, regardless of the circumstance or situation.
2. Redefining negatives as positives. Energizers are “can do” players. They do not like to stay in negative territory, even when there are things that are depressing to their teammates. They are sometimes discouraged, but never victims. They lift others up, as well.
3. Fast response time. Energizers don't fool around and waste time. Energizers don't tell you all the reasons something can't be done. They just get to it and get it done. They keep the action moving in the right direction.
The only requirements for team energizers are that they stay active, positive, responsive, and keep focused on the team’s mission.
Are you your team’s energizer? If not, then start today!
Adapted from R.M. Kanter’s blog.
Remember that you have to make sure you LOOK the part BEFORE going on TV. Here is a partial checklist of things you need to consider to present yourself as a professional baseball player:
. Props (if any)
. Facial expressions
. Head movement
. Body movement
. Hand movement
It's not that your style is MORE important than what you say. What you say is what counts. But no one is going to focus on or remember what you say if your style (clothes, jewelry, etc.) is taking the audience's attention AWAY from your message. So get your visual image smoothed out before you even think about what message you will communicate during your TV interview. Then you...and your audience...is free to focus on your message, as well as your professionalism!
Networking for professional baseball players is a gradual process. It takes time to understand and incorporate good networking habits into your daily routine, so there's no better time to start than today!
Below are 6 easy to use networking tips for professional athletes:
1. Look to Build Quality Relationships - A person who is willing to go the extra length to help you is worth more than 10 or 20 people who are not willing to go out of their way.
2. Be Genuine and Approachable - If you approach someone else in good faith and ask for help while at the same time trying to create a positive relationship, you will have more chances than if you just ask for something without putting in the effort of knowing the other person.
3. Connect the Right Way - Keeping in touch can be hard, especially with your busy schedule. The best way is to connect face to face. Yet, even taking time out to give someone a call, or to send an e-mail or text can mean a lot to the person with whom you are networking. Be sure to follow-up each initial connection you make.
4. Don't Wait to Network Until You Have To - Don't wait until you need to network to start networking. As mentioned earlier, it takes time to build a good network of people who are willing to help you. Start now and keep it going.
5. Be Positive - Being positive will make you more welcoming to others. Other people won't approach you if you look angry or appear selfish.
6. Be Proactive - You cannot always expect people to come to you. Get out of your comfort zone and make the first move, seek out events or special activities you should attend, volunteer to help an organization, etc.
A great place to volunteer is with the Extra Innings Foundation. We facilitate fun, worthwhile in-person and virtual classroom visits by players to students. This is a great way for players to be proactive and volunteer. Players can select the school and even classroom of their choice, or we can select one for you. Prior to their visits, players are taught an easy public-speaking strategy they can use called purposeful storytelling. For more information, contact Lynn Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Adron Chambers visited students on behalf of the Your Success Story Program, he taught them that their success in reaching any goal depended upon their ability to turn minor setbacks into major comebacks. Adron told the students his own story of how he did just that to reach his goal of playing in the big leagues. This is great advice for minor league players seeking to do the same.
Adron warns to not let a minor setback ruin your day when you can turn them into major comebacks that will put you right back on the path to success and happiness.
This is important because happiness is even more than a good feeling—it is also an indispensable ingredient of your success. Athletes who can successfully turn a minor setback into a major comeback are those who define themselves not by what has happened to them, but by what they can make out of what has happened to them. They have the ability and the willingness to move up NOT despite setbacks, but BECAUSE of them.
It’s all about how we define the event originally perceived as a setback. Reality is merely our brain’s relative understanding of the world based on where and how we are observing it. We can change this perspective at any moment and by doing so change our experience of the event. It’s all about the path that we choose to take following the setback event.
For example, after we experience what we view as a setback, we have an option of taking three different paths.
One path keeps us circling around where we are; the setback event creates no change and we end up right where we started. The second path leads us toward further negative consequences and we feel defeated and even worse off than ever. The third, and preferred path, takes us from failure or setback to a place where we are stronger and more capable than even before experiencing the setback; this is the path forward.
A professional athlete's ability to find and take the path forward is the difference between athletes who are crippled by failure and those who rise above it.
Keep in mind that contained within every setback is an opportunity for growth that we can teach ourselves to see and take advantage of. The most successful professional athletes view adversity not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping-stone to greatness!
Note: A special thanks to Adron Chambers for sharing his success strategy of turning minor setbacks into major comebacks.
Social Networking sites and applications are a part of baseball players' everyday lives. Players use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to easly communicate with friends, family, and fans all over the world.
It's a great way to keep everyone posted on what you're doing in Spring Training, as well as during the season and off season, too. However, it's important for players to remember that like any other part of the internet, social networks can be filled with serious security risks, both for yourself and any information associated with you. Keeping in mind that nothing is ever "gone" from the internet.
Many social networks will tell you that the more you put into them (your information), the more you get out of them (connections, recommendations, etc.). However, despite the supposed "privacy" the networks say thay have, players must keep in mind that social network takes place in a PUBLIC space. So basically there's not really any privacy to what you post.
The best attitude to take in order to enjoy the benefits of social networking, while minimizing the inherent risks, is to remain
SKEPTICAL and CAUTIOUS. Skeptical of any requests for information requested of you, and cautious of any information you share.
The tips below serve as guidelines to follow in your social networking interactions.
Use a strong password.
Use privacy settings. Tell your teammates to use theirs, too.
NEVER leave anything but the bare minimum as publically available. Make sure only your accepted friends or followers can see what you put up.
Don't assume what you do post is secure, despite the settings.
Verify friend/follower requests. Don't accept just anyone. Most scams start by someone bluffing their way onto your friends list.
Verify links, attachments, downloads, emails, anything sent to you. Even your trusted friends could've had their accounts hacked.
Don't wire that "emergency money" until you can voice-verify.
Investigate exactly what information any third-party add-ons, games, extensions, etc. will be privy to. Does that poker game really need access to your contacts list?
Read the security tips and instructions provided by the social network itself.
Don't give away your password or use the same password for any other services.
Don't put out too much info. Don't advertise when you're going on a trip, when your possessions might be left unattended, that super expensive thing you just left the store with, etc.
Be aware of auto-geotagging. Some services will automatically tag your status updates with GPS information. If you don't want everyone to know where you are, make sure your social networking service doesn't turn on this feature automatically.
And finally, don't upload anything you wouldn't want everyone to see. Assume that anything you put up will be shown to EVERYONE, including your grandma!
Well, that's enough for now. Be sure to share this with your teammates. And if you have a tip, please add it here!
By the way, a great example to follow are the Tweets sent out by KC Royals player, Johnny Giavotella. You can follow him at @Gio2bKC.
Adapted from Columbia University IT.