Dale Murphy was drafted in the first round of the 1974 Major League Baseball draft by the Atlanta Braves. He went on to have a long and successful career, winning back-to-back National League MVP Awards (youngest player in history to achieve this feat at that time), as well as five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and numerous other awards and honors through the years.
He was a seven-time All-Star and still today is known as one of the most beloved athletes to ever play in Atlanta. Off the field, he is known for his integrity and his determination to play the game the right way. He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2000. His number (3) was retired in 1994 and hangs today in SunTrust Park as a tribute to his celebrated career.
Focus on Fundamentals
During his 20-year career in the MLB, Murphy learned quite a few things that he’d like to share. He encourages you to practice and practice until you master the fundamentals of whatever you do. Then they will become second nature. This will serve you well when you have very little reaction time to a problem.
A slump is usually the result of forgetting the fundamentals. Just return to the basics to return to success.
When Murphy started playing baseball professionally, he was originally a catcher. But after a few years, he lost the ability to be as accurate as he needed to be, so he tried first base and struggled there, too. There were times when he wanted to quit because of the struggles he faced, but he persevered. And he had a coach who believed in him.
He finally ended up in the outfield. And that made all the difference. He became an All-Star, won five Gold Gloves, and went on to other successes as a result of that shift in position.
Keep going, even when things are challenging. You don’t know what might happen if you try something new and see what happens. He turned out to be a better hitter than thrower, which was a big surprise to him. The fact that he kept showing up despite the pain demonstrated his commitment to his job.
Additional Important Lessons
Learn from the past, but don’t live in it. Instead of beating yourself up, lift yourself up as a result of your mistakes. Also, stay coachable. You’ll never reach a point where you can’t learn something new. Always be willing to listen to coaches’ advice to find ways you can improve. Stay humble or you’ll soon be humbled.
Two Qualities of a Good Baseball Player
Resilience – Keep going in spite of opposition and other challenges.
Ability to Hit the Baseball – If you get out 70 percent of the time, you’re considered a successful hitter.
When he made a mistake, he always tried to think positively about it. You can do the same. The next at-bat and the next pitch are opportunities for you to succeed, even if you messed up before. Keep going to work every day.
No matter what happened yesterday, show up today and keep doing your best. You’re not guaranteed success, but you’re guaranteed to fail if you never show up and try. Swing hard in case you hit it.
Leave a Good Legacy
Your legacy is truly important. It’s not so much how famous you became or how much money you earned, but how you attained those things and who you helped along the way.
Murphy could have taken shortcuts to improve his stats, but he didn’t because his integrity was worth more to him than a few more home runs.
Respect others and have empathy for people who are struggling. Be a good teammate by encouraging them when they strike out.
To sum up, Murphy’s three strategies to develop resilience are:
- Learn from the past, but don’t live in it
- Stay coachable
- Keep showing up – don’t quit
In the end, you have to swing hard in case you hit it!
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Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.