There are scores of players who can hit every shot in the book who never make it into a Grand Slam event. Those who make it are there because they are mentally tougher. They wanted it more.
Happy Birthday to the best switch-hitter of all time, Mickey Charles Mantle of the New York Yankees.
The Mick was the most popular player of his generation. He hit tape-measure home runs.
He ran from home to first in 3.1 seconds.
He made spectacular catches in centerfield.
And he played basically on one leg.
In his first season in the big leagues, Mantle got his spikes stuck in a drain in the outfield, trying to avoid the great Joe DiMaggio, in his final season. Mickey would never be the same. It was the beginning of a career filled with injuries.
Last week, I was at the Yogi Berra Museum and Jane Leavy was doing a talk and book signing on “The Last Boy, Mickey Mantle.” She once asked Mickey when the last time he played without pain was.
Mickey said, “When I was 18.”
He basically played his entire career injured.
And I know what you might be thinking, “Mickey was a great ballplayer, but he was an alcoholic.”
What most people don’t know is that Mickey was sexually abused as a child.
He thought he was going to die young, like the rest of the men in his family (he was the only one who lived past age 45).
So he lived every day like it was his last.
Nobody knows what he was going through.
One of my favorite photos is of a home run that Mickey hit 18 inches shy of clearing Yankee Stadium. It was 118 feet above field level and was said to have been still rising.
His home runs were legendary.
But so was his courage.
At the end of his life, he became sober. He wanted others to learn from his mistakes. He was helping others. They say he left this world in peace.
That may have been his greatest accomplishment.
A true role model.
None of us are perfect, I know I’m not.
So as I think about Mickey Charles Mantle on this day, I think of one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game, but I also think of one of the bravest and most honest people, as well.
I never met Mickey, but I have done my share of research on him.
One thing is for sure, he had courage; on and off the field.
Did you know that whatever you think about during the 30 minutes before you go to bed gets replayed in your mind 15 or more times while you’re sleeping?
What do you do right before bed?
Do you watch the news, ie, the down economy, terrorism, food recalls, shootings, etc?
Or do you cultivate gratitude for all you have in your life?
Do you think about what you have to do tomorrow and visualize it going the way you planned?
Your focus is your future.
Think about what you want to happen and don’t give energy to what you don’t.
The other day I was getting ready to teach a young boy. Before we went on the court, I said, “This just might be the best lesson you’ve ever had.”
“I thought EVERY LESSON is the best I’ve ever had?” he responded.
I liked his answer.
So we went on the court and his energy level was exceptionally high, even in the warmup. We started hitting and he was totally focused and high-energy.
It truly was one of the best lessons he ever had.
And he created it in his mind first.
The problem with many people is that either they act how they feel or they think negatively.
And that’s what they get. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Does your day determine your attitude, or does your attitude determine your day?
Recently, I was teaching a high-level high school player and we were playing a groundstroke game to 11 points.
I was up 7-1 and he said to me, “Can we play another one after this one?”
In his mind, he had already lost.
And then he really did lose.
When you think about the future, you can’t perform well in the present.
Remember what the great philosopher, Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
Supposedly, I once said the following quote…
I can’t remember saying it, or where and when, but my source is good, so I must have.
Either way, it’s true.
Together Everyone Achieves More…
As long as…there’s a…
Total Effort from All Members.
In sports, we can’t do it on our own. Even in individual sports like tennis, golf and gymnastics, we have a team of coaches and supporters.
A true champion helps the rest of the team become better.
There’s a hopi saying, “One finger can’t lift a pebble.”
Think about it. We need help. We need to work together.
Who is helping you?
Who can help you?
Who are you helping?
“There ain’t much fun in medicine, but there’s a heck of a lot of medicine in fun.”
Take a break and have some fun.
Google jokes or comedians.
Take a walk in nature.
Cultivate gratitude for all the big and little things in your life.
Smile for one minute.
Call/text your loved one just to say you were thinking about them.
Too busy to have some fun?
Then you’re TOO BUSY…