I get it that not everyone is a sports fan but I heard a story this morning that should resonate with anyone on a team.
Here is some background:
Last night the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years! Quite an accomplishment. Historical for baseball. No other major league team has waited so long for a championship to come its way.
The series was full of ups and downs. The Cubs came in as the emotional and tangible favorites. They fell behind 3 games to one game. One game from elimination
It’s rare that teams come back from such a deficit. But, the Cubs won twice to tie the series at three games.
In the deciding game last night, the Cubs jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The game tightened to 6-3 late in the game and it stood to reason that the Cubs had the best relief pitching and would hold the lead.
But, in just four pitches, the Indians came back to tie the game 6-6. Then it started to rain and the game was delayed.
That’s where the story comes in:
While the Cubs were in the locker room waiting out the rain, outfielder Craig Heywood gathered the 25 players in a small room and delivered a message:
“I just wanted them to remember how good they were, how good we are,” Heyward said. “Know how proud of them I was and that I loved them. That I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”
Looking around the room, Heyward said that every single one of them had played a part in bringing the Cubs to this point. Whether it was soon-to-be NL MVP Kris Bryant, rookie Albert Almora or veteran backup catcher Miguel Montero, Heyward reminded them, the Cubs had gotten this far as a team.
They had everything they needed to win, Heyward said, so long as they believed in each other and played for one another.
“He spoke up and said this is about your teammates,” David Ross said. “He just said, `We’re the best team in baseball for a reason. Continue to play our game, support one another. These are your brothers here, fight for your brothers, lift them up, continue to stay positive. We’ve been doing this all year so continue to be us.’
Those in the room reported an observable change in the room. Frustration from blowing the lead and fear of losing dissipated. A confidence in success took its place.
Heywood isn’t known as a frequent speaker. But, in this case, his boldness was timely.
Strong teams build strong connections. They develop shared experiences which they draw upon when things are tough.
Every once in awhile, a good reminder changes the tone of a team to the positive. It struck a tone with me.
We are good at what we do. We work daily to get better. When we work together, we win. We have every thing we need to succeed. Just like the Cubs. Hopefully, more often.