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Thursday, March 1, 2012

TONY GWYNN: A HITTER'S PERSEVERANCE

To follow up on the previous post on the importance of persevering is a story from "The Maxwell Daily Reader" (one of my favorites) by John Maxwell:

On August 6, 1999, a major-league baseball player stepped up to home plate in Montreal and made another out — the 5,113th of his professional career. That’s a lot of trips to the batter’s box without a hit! If a player made all of those outs consecutively, and he averaged four at bats per game, he would play eight seasons (1,278 straight games) without ever reaching first base.

Was the player discouraged that night? No, You see, earlier in the same game, in his first plate appearance, that player head reached a mile-stone that only twenty-one other people in the history of baseball have ever achieved. He had made his 3,000 hit. That player was Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres.

During that game, Tony got on base with hits four times in five tries. But that’s not the norm for him. Usually he fails to get a hit two times out over every three attempts. Those results may not sound very encouraging, but if you know baseball, you recognize that Tony’s ability to succeed consistently only one times in three tries has made him the greatest hitter of his generation. And Tony recognizes that go get his hits, he has to make a log of outs.

One of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to judge isolated situations in their lives and label them as failures. Instead, they need to keep the bigger procure in mind. Someone like Tony Gwynn doesn’t look at an out that he makes and think of failure. He sees it within the contest of the bigger picture. His perspective leads to perseverance. His perseverance brings longevity. And his longevity gives him opportunities to succeed.