Have you ever been in a situation where you felt that no matter how much you did you simply couldn’t change the outcome so that you felt alive and purposeful? Sometimes it takes someone else with the experience and ability to see your potential to help you break out of an inner prison and live out your true purpose.
Read on and consider what the San Francisco Giants’ baseball team manager, Bruce Bochy, did for Travis Ishikawa to build his confidence and motivation to the point of hitting the winning home run that’s sending the Giants to the ultimate baseball competition, the World Series.
“For all the wives or parents who might be trying to convince a baseball player to grow up and abandon his dream, Travis Ishikawa just ruined things. In this most unlikely of post season runs [for the San Francisco Giants], the moment belonged to the most unlikely player of all. A 31-year-old journeyman who had considered abandoning the game just months ago.”--Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17/14
A journeyman, in baseball speak, is a player who’s been around, maybe playing more in the minor leagues than the major leagues, not accepted as a primary player on a major league team, at least, not for long. (Think Robert Redford in the film, The Natural.) What fascinates me most about the Giants is the back stories of its players and in particular, now, Ishikawa, age 31 (starting to get old for baseball) and how he was even on the team that day at all. Earlier this year, Ishikawa was talking with his wife, wondering if his dream of playing baseball for a major league team was over and he should try some other line of work.
Then last Thursday, the Giants won a crucial, nail-biting game against the St. Louis Cardinals due to Ishikawa’s towering home run during the last inning, sending the Giants on to the World Series!
What made Ishikawa break on through to the other side? There were many factors. One, certainly, was that he kept patiently practicing throughout his time of self-doubt. However, a huge break for him was that the Giants’ head manager, Bochy, saw untapped potential in Ishikawa that he himself didn’t see, mentored his development over the first few months, and backed him at a critical moment in that final game when he might have been pulled out for letting the other team score.
All of which led to Ishikawa being at bat and making a vital home run just when it was needed most. “‘I’ve got to thank Bochy, Ishikawa said, “He knows what he’s doing. I trust his gut.”
That’s the important thing-- when you’re feeling stuck and finding it hard to trust your own gut, it’s vital to have someone at your back who sees and trusts what you can really do-- and helps motivate you to do it. That’s a big part of why and how coaching works-- beyond baseball-- for people who who need support in building their self-confidence and achieving the successful outcomes they really want!