Baseball’s Jim Sundberg offers tips for team success

Posted On: August 23, 2016


Jim Sundberg was the guest speaker for Day 2 of the AAHRA conference.  As one of the top defensive catchers in Major League Baseball, he won six Gold Glove awards and was a three-time American League All-Star.  He took time Tuesday to talk about teamwork and our responsibilities as individuals as part of a team. He spoke at AAHRA one day before a CT Scan to see if he has cancer.

“A week ago I heard that I might have cancer,” he explained about midway through his speech.  “I was told it’s treatable, and that’s the route I’m going.  I know God has a plan and it’s not through.  I know when I asked Him about this, He said, ‘This is not a big deal.  I got this.'”

You can read some of the tips he offered today as well as outtakes from his speech.

Having fun together is the beginning

  1. Celebrate Victories.  This is a very important part of any group.
  2. Proactively Pursue Fun.

“Fun is good.  Especially for 12 and under.  As kids progress with age, winning is something that needs to happen.. If you pursue fun, good things start to happen,” he told the audience.

“Fun and fear cannot occupy the same emotional space.  Think about that.  When you’re having fun, fear is not a part of that..  If you have stress, it is fear related..  When I feel fear I get to the base root of it and I deal with it from there.”

Reducing group stress is progress

“Teams work better when members learn how to individually handle their own stress,” says Sandberg.

  1. Confronting negativity, Look for Opportunity
    “From a spiritual sense, any negative has a positive revelation.. A lot of the things that are in play in this world, were put into play by Him.. When we find the positive revelation, the light comes on.”He continued by saying situations can be challenging, but sometimes you have to stop and think up a plan.  “Look at that situation as an opportunity.”
  2. Emotional Intersections are Opportunities
    Sundberg talked about the time he learned his wife lost their newborn daughter.  He was on the road playing at the time.  He had to decide whether to play or sit and think about it.  He said he chose to play.“At times, I was tearing up behind my mask,” he said, but “it was one of the best performances I’ve ever had.”  He explained that it was a difficulty that became an opportunity.”I didn’t have to worry and fret over stuff.. I could release it.”There was a mindset I had that game.. I used that years later in a WS competition, and it worked the same way.. Your situation can be an opportunity, and it can lead to all kinds of freedom.”

Encouraging one another is Success

  1. Honor each other with spoken words“Words matter. They can give emotional death or emotional life to an individual.  Words matter.”
  2. Challenging thought?“At 65 years of age, I have realized that one of the greatest gifts is taking risks… If you don’t like taking a risk, take a risk.”

He concluded by saying two things:

“Keep Showing Up!” and “Don’t quit, stay the course.”


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