Lessons Learned From Cheering On MLBs Most Lovable LosersSeptember 16, 2009
This is the 3rd and final guest post in my series for Chandlee Bryan’s Emerging Professional site. Here I discuss some finals lessons I’ve learned from sports and how I relate them to the job search. Best of thank to everyone!
I was born bleeding Cubbie blue. Cheering on the Yankees or Dodgers was never an option. It was embedded in me like DNA. I had brown hair, green eyes and I was a Cubs fan. At a young age the charm and personality of the Cubs got me and I watched more Cubs games than I did cartoons. The first time I entered Wrigley Field, my fate was sealed. The atmosphere, the sounds, the tastes and smells, the ivy covered walls and the old-school scoreboard. It was enchanting and my heart still skips a beat every time I return. The Chicago Cubs have a power over me that words can’t describe. It’s a love, a passion, a union that only Cubs fans can understand. They can give me the ultimate high, but have the power to bring me to indescribable lows.Cubs
I was sitting in section 205 on October 14, 2003 as the Cubs were 5 outs away from making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945. In my face paint, handmade Cubs shirt and Cubs print pants; I hid behind my hands too nervous to watch. Hiding was a good idea. With 5 outs to go, Moises Alou lost a foul ball to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Alex Gonzalez let a ball go through his legs, Mark Prior imploded, and the Florida Marlins went on to score 8 runs. All with 5 outs to go! This wasn’t the only time the Cubs were the reason I cried for hours. Being a Cubs fan means enjoying the highs, but expecting the lows. People ask me constantly, “Why are you a Cubs fan?” Why? Why do I cheer on a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908? Why do I support an effort that is 101 years in the making? Why do I constantly set myself up for disappointment? I had no choice. I was destined to be a Cubs fan. And while my mom constantly reminds me “Why do you love them so much? They don’t give anything back to you!” I know that’s not true. The Cubs have taught me the importance of loyalty, dedication and persistence. Being a Cubs fan has prepared me for anything and given me invaluable skills I use daily. Sure I’d like a World Series ring, but a few, good life lessons will do for now.
“If at first you don’t succeed..”
We’ve all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” The great thing about this saying is that it can be applied to anything we do in life from playing sports to landing that perfect job. Practice is the key to success and is something that even the most talented athlete does daily. After an 8-game winning streak the Cubs won’t cancel drills just because they’re doing well and a player won’t just hang out in the clubhouse during practice if he’s batting .380 in June. The best keep going. They keep practicing. They keep honing their skills. They try each and every day to better the athlete they were yesterday. Texas Ranger pitcher CJ Wilson said, “We practice every day despite having played the same basic game for over 20 years…Think about how weird that is!”
The same applies to the job search. It is rare to find someone who wakes up one morning and is just naturally good at interviewing. It’s a skill and something we need to practice. Rehearse answering important questions in the mirror, set up mock interviews with family or educators, research keys to successful interviews and go on actual interviews as often as you can. My friend Sarah recently went on an interview with a company that she didn’t know much about. While she was apprehensive at first she saw it as an opportunity for practice. The interview only lasted two minutes, but the point was that she gained more experience and knowledge through it. No harm there, right? You can’t win every game, nor can you knock every interview out of the park, it takes practice, dedication, and persistence. Someday I will have the home run of all interviews and land that perfect job, but until then practice makes perfect.
Perseverance “Yet we still believe it’s gonna happen. Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe in 50 years. We’ll wait.”- No Love Lost, ESPN
Sports have taught me some important life lessons including, dedication, preparation, practice, experience, and persistence. However, I feel this last lesson is truly the most important; perseverance. It was Wednesday, October 14, 1908 the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series. 101 years ago. Chicago fans are constantly reminded of it and the players are too. Yet at every Chicago Cubs home game you’ll be pressed to find an empty seat, the crowd will be cheering louder than even the day before and the players will sprint out there with one goal in mind; win. The Chicago Cubs understand the definition of perseverance. They eat, sleep and breathe it. Regardless of any obstacles, the cynics or their history, the Cubs know that one day they will win the World Series and until then the only thing they can do is put everything they have into every game they play.
The truth is, the job search can be exhausting. Constantly being told “no” by companies can take its toll. And being turned down for positions you’ve dreamed about can be heart breaking. I know, because the Cubs still haven’t offered me an interview. Regardless, the important thing is to keep going. Never take no for an answer and never accept failure. My dream is to work in sports and I won’t stop until that dream becomes a reality. A baseball player doesn’t quit after going 0-for-4 in an important game and neither will I. Now, let’s play ball!