Lessons From My First Year Working in Major League Baseball
The 2021 season was the first year that I worked in a professional sport setting and boy did I learn a lot. From March to October, it was 8 months of continuous travel and nonstop baseball. As 2021 is coming to an end and while I interview with a few different organizations, I’ve thought about the 2021 baseball season and everything that I learned. Here are the lessons that I took away (in no particular order):
- Be Adaptable
In sport, rarely anything goes to plan. Murphy’s Law states, “that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong” and boy is that true. Whether it is not having WiFi available for your devices or a camera not being charged, it is always a good idea to have back ups available. You could have the best laid out plan or schedule for the day, but things will go wrong and when they do you need to be adaptable and be able think on your feet.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Coming in as a new hire, all you want to do is prove yourself and show others how smart you really are. In reality, no one expects you to change the world when you are just starting. Baseball is a totally new beast to me. Sure I played in high school but that was over 6 years ago and the game has revolutionized since then. With that being said, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many people in the organization who have worked there for years and many we’re previously in your position. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help because the odds are, they’ll be more than happy to help you.
- Have an Open Mind
There are many way to skin a cat. There are no right or wrong answers. In a Major League Baseball organization there are over 250 players and no two players are the same. Two players having the same problem does not mean that the two players will have the same solution. Every single athlete that you encounter is completely different from the last. Being a good sport scientist does not entail sticking to what you believe in and forcing it to work. Instead, you need to be open to different methods and not be afraid of changing your philosophy.
- Culture is Important
As I mentioned before, the baseball season is a long 8 months filled with highs and lows. Because of this, it is important to surround yourself with the right people. Find people who will challenge you, make you think differently, but more importantly believe in you and support you.
- Aprender Espanol
Learn Spanish. I cannot stress this enough. If you’re in high school or college, actually pay attention during Spanish class. Download duolingo and practice everyday or when you go to a Mexican restaurant, practice ordering in Spanish. It is so important for sport scientist to be adequate at communicating their message in Spanish. Latin players are amazing at what they do and deserve to have the same resources available.
The 2021 baseball season was long. I won’t lie and say it was all sunshine and rainbows. However, the opportunity to watch these guys day in and day out, give it 100% for a chance to make their dreams come true and become an MLB player was a blessing. 2021 was my first year in pro ball but it won’t be my last because there are still a lot of guys out there who I want to help achieve their dream.