“Put me in, Coach. I’m ready to play today.” When John Fogerty wrote what is probably his most memorable piece of music, “Centerfield,” he was nervous that it would not be accepted. Sports songs didn’t seem to mix well into the genre of Rock and Roll. At least, that is what Fogerty thought.
“Centerfield” is a cornerstone song played at ballparks across the country. The song plays continuously at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
You just never know, do you?
For me, baseball creates an excellent backdrop about the importance of creating a high-performance team for business or even for your personal life. There has been a lot written about teams:
- How to Create a Team
- The Five Dysfunctions of Teams
- The Secrets of Teams
- The Team Handbook
In fact, search “team” in Amazon books and you’ll find almost 186,000 entries.
The one aspect of teams that has been largely ignored is the importance of the shortstop. For the first five years of baseball’s history, there wasn’t a shortstop. During the early years of baseball, a team could consist of eight to eleven players. Extra players were used in the outfield. Doc Adams, of the Knickerbockers, recognized the need for a position that could cover all the bases and backup the outfield. He created the position of shortstop around 1850.
A baseball team’s shortstop is one of the most versatile players on the field. He handles infield fly balls, relays outfield balls, relays infield balls, and backs up third base, second base, and the pitcher.
What does this have to do with your team?
The shortstop on a baseball team is the most defensive position. He usually doesn’t excel at hitting. He usually doesn’t have a long throw. But what he does have is hustle, agility, and the ability to quickly adapt to any given situation. The shortstop knows how to play every position and cover everyone’s back.
A good shortstop makes a good baseball team great.
Do you have a good shortstop on your team?
Someone who has hustle, agility, and can quickly adapt to any situation? Does your team have someone who knows everyone’s function and could cover any deficiencies?
Probably not. Most teams don’t.