Spending twelve years on the Canadian National Team gave me opportunities for numerous roles and experiences. Throughout my time with the team I filled the role of a pinch runner, leadoff hitter and starting SS, a captain, starting outfielder, a utility player, and starting 2B. While on the roster I hit in seven different spots in the lineup, I experienced the DP role for the first time in my career, I came back from a season-ending injury, and I rehabbed well into the season after having off-season surgery. For the final few years of my career I was no longer a captain, I was also a true utility player who had to be ready for ANYTHING. Sometimes I was moved to a position to challenge a starter and, a couple of times, I suddenly gained a start (once at a position I hadn’t practiced in all season) in a MUST WIN GAME.
Every experience challenged me in SOME way and has helped shape me into the person I am today.
There are two things that I’m EXTREMELY PROUD of when I reflect on my National Team Career and the experiences listed above:
1- I treated my teammates with love and respect no matter which role I was in.
2- I championed the art of being ready when my name was called.
Understanding the value of team and finding value in my role on a daily basis were massive pieces of this.
At the 2021 Olympics, we had just six games. I pinch ran in 3 of them and cherished each of those moments on the field. I started one game; I cherished being on the field with my teammates that day and all three opportunities I had at the dish that day… every pitch I saw that day… and every centering breath I took in my well-oiled-machine of a routine. I cherished it all. How cool to be able to say I hit 1.000 at the Olympics ;)
How can you encourage team members to value the team AND help create an environment in which team members feel valuable to the team?
What do you value that will help you champion your role?
What routines can you create to help you be present, prepared, and able to perform when your name is called?
I hope this provides you with an interesting perspective as you navigate the endless challenges of sport!
All the best to you as you search for value, inspire others to do the same, create a routine, and/or champion your role!