10/7/19 - Emotions of the Game
Emotion is at the heart of many of our greatest performances. Subsequently we can draw strong correlation between the presence of profound emotion and life’s richest experiences. Sometimes, however, the method behind peak performance is a more stoic approach, thus assumptively leaving out human emotion.
To be honest, baseball taught me the power of Stoicism. The best baseball players in the world, for example, get to the highest levels of the sport by controlling their emotions. Whether you’re a sports fan or not is beside the point. It might be nice to hear a fuller story that this “either or” perspective that says either you’re a high performer or you’re emotional. The truest understanding is that it’s both.
A couple weeks ago Major League rookie first baseman, Pete Alonso, broke a Major League record for home runs in a season by a rookie with fifty-three long balls. A lifetime of diligent work and mental mastery contributed to this young man’s ability to do what no other man had done before him (including Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and new stars like Bryce Harper). Yet, after the dust settled from his home run, the high fives, fireworks, and subsequent curtain call for the fans, Alonso jogged out to play first base the next half inning. During warm-ups, he began to break down.
The newest home run king couldn’t keep it together and tears streamed down his face. If you’re looking for some humanity, you can see for yourself here. Imagine being in this young man’s shoes. The realization of his monumental effort and work has paid dividends that now made him immortal in baseball history. You’re seeing an empowered man humbled by his own power.
The home runs were hit largely because of an ability to master his emotions, not letting worry or anxiety affect his performance. Yet, all the while he remained an emotional being full of humanity. Each and every person reading this has both an ability to express performance focused Stoicism and the ability to express complete human emotion. Like anything else, you likely have a place on a spectrum between the two that you could call your preference but as Pete Alonso shows us, both are present and both are important inside you.
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