Why Team Unity is formed during the Six Weeks of Spring Training
Before the 162 game season there are six weeks. Six weeks of workouts and six weeks of grinding practices. Six weeks of daily meetings and six weeks to learn about new teammates, while connecting with old ones.
The annual baseball season ramp-up begins with all 30 MLB teams descending upon warm weather in Florida or Arizona to prep for the season ahead with six weeks of Spring Training. Spring Training is a time we love here at isplack. We enjoy getting to see these great athletes in small venues, and we also love watching as teams unify and prepare for the season ahead.
Regardless of the prior season’s outcome, each team contends with both new faces in the clubhouse and new challenges that require rekindled efforts to unify. Whether new players arrived via free agency, trades or are young prospects from the farm system, each team’s clubhouse chemistry has been disrupted. It is imperative that team chemistry is found during the six weeks of Spring Training, as the following 162 games don’t take place under nearly the same setting.
Spring Training provides coaching staffs with a nearly perfect environment to breed optimism and unity into their athletes. Daily team meetings allow the staff to instill a rallying cry to help bond the players, while daily interaction and one-on-one instruction grant the opportunity to learn what makes each player tick. While the environment may be perfect, complete buy in by each player is always difficult to achieve due to past experience or personal beliefs. Anything other than positive thoughts about the team’s outlook by just one influential player can derail the objectives set forth by a team. Teams that are able to bond during the pre-season schedule of the spring gain a leg up on the competition, while others fight to unite during the 162-game grind.
The players ascend on Spring Training with more on their mind, and agenda, than just getting their swing right, or getting their mechanics in order. Each player looks forward to reconnecting with teammates and learning about the new guys. Players will either learn who the team’s leaders will be, or become a leader themselves during Spring Training. Great leaders can have an incredible effect on the team’s future success during the spring, and many of the game’s greats became leaders and champions through the work ethic they instilled during Spring Training.
The spring time also requires players to do much more than simply show up, work hard, have fun and help unify a team. From the gear they use to the scoreboard features fans see all season, almost all details of a season are hashed out during Spring Training. Players are visited by different people nearly every day during the spring. From bat companies to clothiers to custom cowboy boot designers; you name, they see it. There are many visits the players look forward to and other visits the players would rather do without.
For example, the players lucky enough to be a New Balance athlete have some of the most fun visits of all. The mornings when their New Balance rep shows up with the famous NB Schwag Bag waiting for them is a great day every spring. These bags are filled with everything an athlete would want and need. The visits most players could probably do without are the uniform fitting day and media picture days.
So why does all this matter? Every day, for six weeks, each player is put through the ringer and distractions are endless. The teams and players who compartmentalize the daily interactions, while prioritizing unity over things like media appearances, come out of spring set up for success. The teams and players who allow Spring Training to wear them down, are already defeated when a season starts. Each team goes through roughly the same amount of “stuff” during Spring Training; it’s the ones who deal with it the best that have the best chance at success.
As we know here at isplack, unity is something to take serious and positive energy can help create championship teams. At a sport’s highest level, team unity is something that can separate a good team from a great team. We believe the teams that prioritize unity will find the success they seek. Whether the bond be through team colors or something different, the squads who unify and play for one another are also the teams we believe will play past 162 games this season.
Good luck to each team this season, and we look forward to enjoying Spring Training and another great summer of Major League Baseball.
Get Your Colors On!
Peter Zana, VP Sales