Practice the way you shake hands. Be a man about it if you are shaking a man’s hand and be a gentleman about it when shaking a woman’s hand. Be aware of your handshake and be proud of it. It is your first opportunity to show another teammate, a collegue, or even a new friend, that you are here and that you are confident. NO WET FISH!
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TOOF – Think of others first
Life is about your relationships. If you were on this planet alone you would go mentally insane. We all need others in our lives to feel fulfilled and to feel purpose. We all need our teammates in order to have a chance to win games on the field. As people and as teammates we must prioritize the needs of others before our own. We must pick each other up, encourage each other, and be there for one another. Use this amazing acronym as a reminder to consistently work towards thinking of other’s needs first, and then your own. You will inevitably find great reward in this fundamental state of mind.
Erase the word “can’t” from your vocabulary
Seriously. Stop saying “can’t.” Nobody wants to hear what you can’t do.
Be a student of the game
Pay attention to the game at all times. Ask questions to your coaches if you are unsure of terminology, philosophy, or mechanics of different situations. Find the little tendencies and/or weaknesses in your opponents that can give you an advantage when the time comes. Be aware of all things at all times. Know the count, know how many runners are on base, know if the guy on first is fast, know if his ankle is hurting because he was beaned by the pitch in the previous at bat, know that the centerfielder runs like a cheetah but he has a weak arm, know that the third baseman is lazy so you can drop a bunt down, know that the pitcher is timid and doesn’t want to pick off, know that the pitcher hasn’t thrown one curveball for a strike and we are in the fourth inning, know that the catcher likes to back pick to first a lot and know that if you work hard you can get him to throw the ball away down the first baseline. Know everything that is happening in the game. Know that there are No Excuses.