Career Lessons to Learn from the 2014 Baseball Playoffs

The Major League Baseball playoffs are underway, and they have something to offer everyone who works for a living: important career lessons. Here are four things we can all take away from the Major League Baseball postseason.

1. Even the best have bad days

Clayton Kershaw is considered the best pitcher in baseball. But in his first start of the 2014 postseason Kershaw saw the St. Louis Cardinals do the unthinkable: they delivered one of the worst defeats of his career. After the game, Kershaw couldn’t offer answers. He got another shot at the Cardinals and needed to bring his A-game to win. He didn’t. The Dodgers lost the series.

Although we all have to go out and give it our all, from time to time we’ll see even the best effort doesn’t equal a victory. But what makes champions is the ability to bounce back and try to win the next chance they get. Every time the manager hands us the ball, we need to try to win, too.

Play to win. If you lose, pick yourself up and try harder the next time. 

2. The window for success closes

The Detroit Tigers have been a great team for a few years. But the World Series crown has eluded them. Although they have talent they have not been able to put up the runs to win the big games, even with the best hitter on the planet on their team. After a devastating sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles this year, the Tigers will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to win next year.

When you have the opportunity to win, you have to take it up a notch and give it everything you can. If you don’t you’re stuck with what-ifs, the most devastating questions you can ask, especially if you know that the opportunity was there.

When you have the opportunity, strike. 

3. Yelling never helps

In the 10th inning of Game 2 between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals, the Nationals’ second baseman didn’t agree with two-strike calls that ultimately led to him striking out. When he was called out he proceeded to argue with the umpire, eventually being ejected from the game.

When something happens that makes us angry, sad, disappointed, etc., the worst thing that we can do is let our emotions get the best of us. We have to maintain our cool and stick with it. When you let your emotions take over, you run the risk of offending or alienating people and losing possible career connections.

Don’t lose yourself to emotion and alienate yourself from other professionals.