Fulfilling Your Role
Michael Collins was apart of the Apollo 11 Mission in 1969 which allowed the United States to be the first country to put a man on the moon. Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong will always be remembered as the first to step on the surface of the moon, but Collins role as Command Module Pilot was integral in orbiting the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin explored the surface. Not many people will remember Collins as they will Armstrong, but to the mission team and NASA itself will always remember the pivotal role played by Collins forever. Sports are the same way; a player doesn’t have to be the star of the team to be able to contribute their fair share to do something special.
“What is my role?” is a question that every player should ask themselves. Whether you’re the starting catcher or a relief pitcher, you must know and understand your piece in the puzzle. No one player can make or break a team, however they be a crucial ingredient given their performance on the field any given time they suit up. What you do on the field can resonate throughout your team whether that is good or bad. It is not exactly a “butterfly effect,” but the wrong choice mid game can doom a team and throw every one off the game plan. A walk will put a runner on and force the pitcher to throw from the stretch with no outs and just like that you have pressure that wasn’t there a pitch ago. “Baseball is a game of inches,” we’ve heard that phrase a million times before and it never seems to hit home until you actually experience it in a game. All of a sudden your role has changed. Middle infielders need to pinch up the middle, bunt coverages may be put on, first baseman now has to hold the baserunner, and the pitcher doesn’t have the luxury of throwing anything he wants to the batter. If everyone does their job with the next batter, then you’ll be successful in getting out of the inning.
Teams that work together are well oiled machines that are tough to beat. Baseball and softball are a different type of team sport, but the idea is still applicable. A defense that can communicate with each other is an underrated quality in baseball and softball. The catcher’s role might just be the most important on the diamond. His or her communication with the infield can be the difference in giving up runs or not when there or runners on base. The top of the lineup can’t carry the team every time just like your best pitchers can’t always be the savior. The same goes for the coaches in most aspects. The leadership of the head coach has the greatest influence on the team and that goes for all sports. The role of the head coach as we all know is to lead and direct their players in the right way in hopes of success. Just like Michael Collins, the coach isn’t necessarily in the game, but their role is can determine success from failure. Everyone has a role, the key to being a successful team is everyone fulfilling them when they’re called upon.