9/30/22 : True Pressure
Performance under pressure isn’t absolute, some folks can seize the moment while others succumb. The ability to step forward requires both inherit talent to do so but also drive, will and personality. It requires a sense of calm, determination and belief in not only your own abilities but of those around you to bring their abilities to the forefront as well.
Hurricane Ian devastated our neighboring communities here in Florida, what was initially forecast to be a hellacious impact on our area instead changed course and destroyed many parts of the state I live in. During times of crisis those in leadership roles by nature of their job are forced to step forward and in most cases they do so. Political affiliations and partisan beliefs for true leaders are set aside in these instances, the pettiness of not doing so permeates a distinctive odor that isn’t becoming and telling. Gladly good leadership has been the case in the days leading to, during and now after this historic storm. This storm was a very real life changing experience … the pressure was/is enormous to survive it for those impacted and they need the guidance to do so.
By comparison the fact that the Phillies have lost five consecutive games pales in stature. Yet the pressure of a playoff chase in baseball also requires a sense of calm, determination and belief in not only your own abilities but of those around you to bring their abilities to the forefront. Every sports team that has success since the beginning of competition has had an individual or group that has stepped forward to lead the charge. It’s not always or necessarily the “superstar” player that answers that call, it’s the person or group who turns pressure inside out and exudes confidence both with performance and the incorporation of teammates. The 2008 Phillies had that swagger, they had a confidence of expecting success. It’s not a matter of “being loose” but rather of relishing the moment of the spotlight and believing that you can shine and then doing so.
Success during a playoff chase is not something that necessarily needs prior experience, there have been teams that have won with multiple players that had no previous “pennant chase” exposure that shined thru in their first endeavor. It’s the confidence that you can do it, those overcome with self doubt are disabled with the anxiety.
It’s important to the organization and fan base that the 2022 Phillies make the playoffs but it’s not a survival like life altering event if they don’t. The fellas need to relax and play the game with the personality and swagger that brought them to the show. They need to embrace the pressure to excel, to let the kid inside them that loves the game shine thru. They need to look no further than the next play or AB or pitch to compete … they need to realize that true pressure is what the folks impacted by Hurricane Ian are feeling - that baseball is fun and that they should have it.
They can still shine in the light of the playoff pursuit - just gotta believe in the swagger to do so - that’s the spark that ignites the engine.
Seven games left to swag and shine - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️