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Championship Lessons from the Houston Astros

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The Houston Astros just conquered the baseball world, winning the World Series. Learn 3 valuable lessons from their journey to becoming world champions.

Life wasn’t always so good for the Astros. Discover some championship lessons you can learn from their journey to the top.

When a team wins a championship, in any sport, life is good – really good. But, pull back the layers and underneath all the celebrating, the trophies and the rings are some struggles and lessons that can help all of us.

While the celebrating is easy, the winning is an entirely different story. Winning takes time, it takes patience, and oddly enough, it takes losing. Read on to discover some championship lessons from the World Champion Houston Astros!

  1. People Matter More than Numbers – Both the World Series champion Houston Astros and the runner up Los Angeles Dodgers are among baseball’s leaders in using analytics. That’s the objective method made famous in the book Moneyball that crunches numbers to determine everything from which players to go after to where to shift your defense.
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    But for all their focus on numbers, the Astros realized there was a disconnect. They were seeing players as numbers instead of people. Baseball is a game ultimately played by people, and in order to be really good, their main focus had to be placed on each one of their players. So, they made some shifts. They brought in 3 veterans who knew they wouldn’t play a lot, but whose leadership would help guide the younger stars through the playoffs. Other players learned Spanish to help clubhouse communication, and the analytics department and coaching staff realized they had to tell players the “whys” behind all their numbers and shifts.

    Seemingly little things that when combined put the Astros focus on their culture and the makeup of their players, instead of simply on the dry, human-less numbers. The Astros championship reminds us that we coach people who play softball or baseball. Reach the hearts of those people, and you can achieve some magical things!

  1. It’s the Size of Your Heart – Speaking of hearts, we don’t have to look any further than the Astros 5’6” second baseman Jose Altuve to understand that the size of your heart and desire is always more important than your physical size or what others think about you. Prior to hitting .310 in the playoffs with 7 homeruns and 14 RBI’s, the diminutive second baseman was cut by the Astros because he was ‘too short”. Not to be deterred, Jose kept working and the Astros eventually signed him for a measly $15,000. That same second baseman who was “too short”, is now a World Series champion and was in the running for World Series MVP! Anybody who watches Jose Altuve play knows that it’s always the size of your heart that matters most!
  1. The Road to Good Goes Thru Bad – Before the Astros were World Champions, they were horrible. I mean really, really horrible. They lost 106 games in 2011, 107 in 2012 and 111 games in 2013. 4 years before they were World Series Champions, they finished 45 games out of first place!! In a tv game in 2013 they had a Nielson rating of 0.0 – which means not a single house in Houston was watching them play. NOBODY!
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    But inside the Astros, during those dreadful years, they knew they were slowly, quietly re-building from the ground up. In fact, they put a sign out in front of their ballpark that read “QUIET! WE’RE SUCKING TO GET BETTER”. While it’s not a message people have the patience to hear, it’s what all championships require. It takes time, it takes horrible and it takes patience to go from being 45 games out of first place to being World Series Champions!

 

Congratulations Astros – it was a joy to watch you play!

For more help creating your team’s championship culture check out our eClinic:

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