“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
—Babe Ruth, Hall-of-Fame Baseball Player
Team chemistry is critical for any group of athletes looking to triumph. If players can’t work together to achieve a common goal, the team may as well forfeit the season. Putting personal goals ahead of the team’s needs can tear apart any locker room. Players don’t have to be best friends, but they should have mutual respect and a shared understanding of the common goal: winning.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. knew what it took for a team to be successful. Although he was not close friends with each member of his seven World Series Championship teams, when it was time to play ball, the “Great Bambino” did whatever was necessary to help his team.
In 1915, his first full season, Ruth went 18-8 as a pitcher and batted an impressive .315 for the Red Sox. Yet he sat on the bench during the World Series, batting only once, as Boston proceeded to hoist their third Series trophy.
After being traded to the New York Yankees in 1919, Ruth continued to sacrifice, this time by giving up pitching and becoming a power-hitting outfielder. Not a bad decision, though, since “The Sultan of Swat” eventually turned into arguably the best hitter of all-time, with a lifetime batting average of .342 and 714 career home runs. Ruth was the first player to hit 60 homers in a season (1927), and he led the American League in home runs 12 times.
So before you set your personal goals for the season, think first about what your team needs, how you can help the team, and how to work together with your teammates to achieve the goal of winning.