Sports great Dan Patrick told a story on the Golf Channel’s wonderful “Feherty” show about doing the Olympics a few years ago. Patrick had a wealth of experience, but it was his first shot at the Olympics, and to his surprise, he was very nervous about it. Much to his delight, he found that he’d be paired in the nightly updates with Al Michaels, the consummate pro who had effortlessly switched from play-by-play man to Newsman during the 1989 World Series when an earthquake hit San Francisco. Patrick shared his nervousness with Michaels, and Al told him, “Look, I know you want to be great at this. But just be good, and you’ll be great by being good.”
I hear jocks every week that sound like they’re trying so hard to be great that the pressure of it just melts them down. Just recently, I told someone struggling with this “Simply pull it back a little, and stop caring so much about how you’re being perceived. If it doesn’t sound like something you’d say to me over lunch together, it’s not going to connect anyway, so let go of trying to hit a home run every time the mike opens, and just hit a single.”
This is what’s wrong with baseball now, by the way. There are so many batters trying to hit a home run every time up, and while it might result in a few more homers and runs batted in, it also usually translates to a mediocre batting average and WAY too many strikeouts. If I could coach them, I’d say “Just hit 3,000 singles and you’ll make the Hall of Fame.”
The truth is that if you’re just trying to be really good every time the mike opens, ‘great’ will happen once in a while.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2015 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.