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Most Valuable Teammate = MVP?
We all know who the best players on our clubs are, however, making an intentional effort to improve your teammates’ game is not usually something that is preached. Most of the time, we are solely focused on improving our swing and increasing our 60 time — these are critically important to your game, however, the success of the club relies more on morale and chemistry than we give credit for.
Derek Jeter was one of the all-time greats, piling up over 3,000 MLB hits and having an astonishing .9762 career fielding percentage (the 40th best since the stat was created in 1876)! While these statistics are amazing by themselves, the truly remarkable numbers were achieved by the teams he was a part of. In Jeter’s 20 years as a part of the New York Yankees, they made the playoffs 17 times and won the World Series 5 times. These numbers are unprecedented and raise the question as to how this team stayed so consistent for so long?
Well, the main piece of the puzzle was Derek Jeter himself. Jeter was renowned for being an exceptionally good teammate both on the field and in the clubhouse. He was also known for being the hardest working player around; he once said: “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you - and I believe that.” Jeter’s work ethic was noticed by the people around him and inspired his teammates to follow in his footsteps, consequently, they were often the most prepared team in the game.
In a 2014 interview one of Jeter’s longtime teammates, Tino Martinez, gave some further insight into the future hall-of-famer’s influence. Martinez elaborated on the point we have already discussed, saying that Jeter always played to win, no matter the score, the weather or the circumstances; his teammates saw his desire and didn’t want to let him down. Again, this shows that they would work until they were the most prepared they could be. Tino also noted that Jeter wasn’t overly vocal, however, he didn’t need to be in order to get the point across. Instead, he lead through action.
Knowing that your teammates have your back will allow you to go into a big situation with more confidence. By making an intentional effort to be the best teammate and hardest worker possible, you will become a player who improves the people around you. Although one player cannot win a game, one player can inspire the rest of the team to support each other on and off the field and this is what will allow them to win championships.
Thanks for Reading!
Written by Levi Muth
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