How My High School Baseball Coach Made Me a Better CEO

How My High School Baseball Coach Made Me a Better CEO

When I was a sophomore in high school I got called up to the Varsity team a few games into the season. I was our starting right fielder.

We had an early season doubleheader. In the first game I dropped a ball. Super out of character. But, that’s baseball, that’s life. I shook it off and got back to work, writing it off as a fluke.

Then in the second game, I dropped another ball. Then let a ground ball go between my legs.

My coach pulled me. I was embarrassed at my performance. For a sophomore, new to the Varsity squad, I was worried my days as a starter were over.

After the game, the coach pulled me aside:

“Matt, we’re going to win a championship with you and I can’t have you dropping balls. Come back for our next game ready to work.”

This was an incredibly powerful moment for my 15 year old self.

My coach believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I had never felt so empowered and so confident in my ability. This moment was nearly 10 years ago but I remember it so clearly. It was such a simple moment, but looking back, it was a turning point in my young adult life.

Somebody, with more experience than myself, saw something inside me that could do great things. Was I capable of more than I gave myself credit?

Sure enough, two years later as a senior, I helped lead our team to their first league championship in 4 years. Coach was right.

The confidence that my coach instilled in me is the same confidence I seek to instill in everyone that I now interact with running a company… My team members, my clients, my clients.

We all need a champion, no matter what where we are on our journey. There is no greater feat in the world than empowering someone else to achieve their potential…

(and that’s why Different Hunger exists)