I had the recent pleasure of watching a history making World Series.
I’m not much a a Major League Baseball fan but I enjoy the broadcast drama of the playoffs and World Series.
My team didn’t win. No, I’m a transplanted Midwestern boy now living in Texas. I have nothing against the Giants. In fact, I like them. But being from the Midwest, I was looking for that Cinderella story.
I saw various celebrities in the crowd. A hopeful Tom Watson was there with his family. I thought about the Cinderella story that could have been, when, at 59 years old he stood over an 8 foot putt on the 18th green at Turnberry in 2009. If he makes the putt, he wins the British Open and becomes the oldest major winner in history. If he misses, he’d face Stewart Cink in a four hole playoff. Tom had already accomplished something phenomenal in leading the tournament for all four days.
Tom steadied himself over the putt. He’d been known as an aggressive putter throughout his whole career. For whatever reason, Tom’s nerves got the best of him and he pushed the putt to the right. A weak and very uncharacteristic stroke for Watson. He then proceeded to completely unravel in the four hole playoff, losing to Cink. He watched Cink drop his putt on the 18th while blinking through his tears. The beautiful thing was… the crowd cheered for the loser. On that day, the sentiment was with what could have been. What mattered was the effort, the focus and the human experience of failure after giving all you could possibly give for four days… and coming up a few inches to the right shy of victory.
Madison Bumgarner made World Series history by becoming the first pitcher to have 4 World Series wins by the age of 25. Even though I was pulling for the Royals, I couldn’t help marvel at the maestro on the mound. I was awestruck as I watched the methodical grace of his mechanics and delivery. This is truly a gifted pitcher.
But the most amazing thing I noticed was his presence in the dugout. While not on the mound he sat silently and alone. His face was emotionless as he seemed to drink in everything that was happening until it was his turn again. And when he got to the mound there seemed to be a kind of old fashioned work ethic as if he was there to “work his shift”.
When he was being interviewed after game seven, the announcer seemed like she was trying to get him to reveal his magic formula or how he dealt with the fatigue and pressure to get the W. Bumgarner seemed oblivious to what she was saying. He said he didn’t care about how many innings he pitched or how many pitches it took. He was just trying to get batters out. That’s all that mattered. Not how many innings he had already pitched, not how many pitches he had already thrown, not how it was affecting his throwing arm, not what the score was and not who was on base… He was focused on one thing, er… really two. Being present on the mound and getting batters out.
When you exercise, are you present? Are you focused on your form? Do you see a picture of the result you want? If your mind is somewhere else, I recommend two things. Just like Bumgarner did. Focus on your form for safety and greater results. Imagine what you want the end result to be. That’s the mind body connection. When your focus is on your form in the present, your mind will help you better achieve what future result you want.