This weekend the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals, America’s Team, can be found at Nationals Park for the first two games of the National League Division Series. After missing the post-season last season, the Nats are eager to be the best team in this series and are hoping to move on to the next round. They are counting on the teamwork that got them this far to carry them all the way to the World Series.
I’ve always loved baseball. I love playing it, watching it, and talking about it. I love watching or making a great play—particularly when it requires the coordinated efforts of multiple players, such as a double play or a forced out at home plate.
It’s possible that it was while playing baseball that I first began to learn about the way teams work together, which is just as valuable to know and understand off the ball field as it is in a game.
A good baseball team—like any good team—has members with clearly defined roles who share a common goal and come together to address tasks that require the focus and participation of the whole team. The members of an effective team are skilled and knowledgeable, and they have chosen to work together rather than singly. To borrow a baseball term, they “backstop” each other and are aware of what their other teammates are tasked to do. Most of all, they quickly develop “team spirit” as their shared goal becomes a shared passion.
Baseball started teaching me this when I was just a kid—and I still use these principles every day. Learning to appreciate and improve the performance of the teams that we each are a part of is critical to the future of our organization. We are at our very best when we participate fully with our individual teams. And that still leaves room for cheering the home team: GO NATS!