For the past 5 years, I have shown this graphic to our high school age baseball players:
I try to convey that “to be exceptional, you need TO DO exceptional things”. Sure, talent helps. Luck sometimes plays a role. But, in my experience, the most exceptional people are not the most talented. There are always more talented people around. Talent or luck do not separate exceptional performers from the pack.
What makes people exceptional is that they combine strong talent with hard work, enthusiasm, commitment, and a strong mental make-up. That combination makes people exceptional — in any chosen field.
Most of these elements that lead to “exceptionalism” are CHOICES that individuals have the FREEDOM, CONTROL and RESPONSIBILITY to make. Being exceptional is a CHOICE. To me, that is an inspiring, positive and very American outlook on life.
My personal goal is to help young men learn to be exceptional — whether it is in baseball, academics or professionally. This is a core part of the Gamers baseball program. In the Gamers program, it is OK to be ambitious, to have goals, to work hard and try to become the best you can be. No apologies required.