"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day."
—Bob Feller, Hall of Fame MLB Pitcher
Resting on their laurels and sulking after a defeat are two things athletes should avoid. Each day presents a new opportunity to grow as an athlete and as a person. The more you focus on the present [and not the past], the more success you will have.
No matter how many Ws you rack up, you will continue to improve as a player only if you dedicate yourself to hard work every day. Taking it easy after a win can turn the next victory into a defeat. Be assured: your opponents will continue to train to get better.
Likewise, feeling sorry for yourself and getting too upset over a loss can have detrimental effects on future performance. Negative emotions can overcome you, causing you to second-guess your ability.
The key is to have a short memory. Regardless of the outcome, good or bad, forget about it and move on to the next challenge.
This was the approach former Cleveland Indians ace Bob Feller took to the ballpark every day. Feller made his Major League debut at the age of 17 [he never pitched in the minors]. Always willing to outwork opponents, "The Heater from Van Meter" had his own unique program to perfect his skills. [Click here for Feller's old-time strength training routine.]
Even after a four-year break from baseball to fight in World War II, Feller resumed his dominance on the mound. His first year back, "Bullet Bob" recorded an incredible 348 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA. He continued to out-train opponents every year, eventually helping the Tribe win the 1948 World Series.
Feller's outstanding career landed him in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility. The eight-time All-Star is still the winningest pitcher in Indians history . Among his many other distinctions, he led the American League in strikeouts seven times, and he is the only pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day [1940 season].
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