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What I'm Reading

Parker Hageman



Becoming a More Patient Leader:


Two good tips on how to increase patience in these stressful times.


Redefine the meaning of speed.
The U.S. Navy SEALs are known for their saying “
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast
.” These rapid-response special forces teams are paradoxically methodical and patient in both planning and executing their time-critical missions. They have learned over 60 years of operating in crisis situations that working at a slow and smooth pace reduces mistakes and re-dos and in the end speeds up the mission. In short, they have learned that leaders shouldn’t “
confuse operational speed (moving quickly) with strategic speed (reducing the time it takes to deliver value)
.” And this of course means that leaders need to clearly define what delivering value means from the start.


Thank your way to patience.
Gratitude has powerful effects on a
wide range of our attitudes and behaviors
. For example, keeping a journal about things you are thankful for
increases generosity
with others and
lowers stress
. It is no wonder then that gratitude may also positively spill over to our ability to demonstrate patience.
Research in experimental psychology
has found when people feel more grateful, they are better at delaying gratification and are more patient.


Travis D’Arnaud’s Offensive Breakout:


Atlanta’s Travis D’Arnaud has transformed into a dangerous hitting catcher, finally living up to his draft expectations. Here’s some good insight on how he reached that level and an interesting take on how playing with the Rays versus one of the New York teams could allow him to focus on his development:


Mottola would watch his batting practice swings, his on-deck swings, his in-game swings, and ask questions. Why are you attacking heaters this way? Why don’t you try to stay on top of the ball, without pulling off with your front side? Sometimes d’Arnaud didn’t have an answer. But because he knew Mottola — because he trusted him — he didn’t get defensive. This was coming from a place of compassion.


They tried every idea they could think of. D’Arnaud hit barefoot for a couple of days. One time, he added another tee to create a right bat path. Another time, Mottola had him try a wide-open stance, just so they could figure out what his straight line through the middle of the zone was.


“It was all these little moments that just finally came together,” he said. “In St. Pete, it was just like, man, the only people I have to answer to are my teammates and coaches. That’s why we’re allowed to do some things outside the box; we don’t have the same scrutiny. It seems like when you’re on the Yankees and Mets, you need to hang out in the cage all day just to get a little peace.


“To be yourself, and not always have to answer to your failures, is really refreshing for a lot of these guys.”


Loss of Sports Hurting Families:


Sports have a way of bringing families together and without it, will some families lose bonding time?


To Luker, the pandemic-fueled decline in youth participation is just one piece of a larger puzzle.


Few people are attending games of any kind. The fear of large crowds is wise, and it’s keeping most of us away from sitting in stands or standing on sidelines or even gathering for television watch parties.


But we need to be aware of the cost: Children, families and friends have been cut from fandom’s communal tradition. There are now far fewer chances to form friendships around watching sports together, and less opportunity for our youth to feel the generation-to-generation connections that come from getting together and rooting for a team.


Better Sleep Equals Better Results:


Houston Astros’ reliever Josh James had terrible sleep habits as a prospect. He credits improving his rest to his improved performance (2020 stats notwithstanding).


James did some research and finally saw a sleep specialist in December 2016. He spent the night hooked up to monitors and was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The condition caused the 2004 death of NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White.


James was given possible surgical remedies that included removing his tonsils or fixing his deviated septum, though none of those were a guaranteed fix. Instead, he chose to start using a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), which delivers pressurized air through a mask that's worn at night to stop snoring.


The effects on James' energy were gradual.


"Just a little bit more refreshed in the morning, a little bit more refreshed about the day, and slowly I started feeling a little bit better every day," James said. "No naps needed. Normally, I'd come home and need a nap, and now I'd come home and be able to do stuff or cut the grass or watch TV."


The effects on James' career began blossoming this season. He went from sitting at 91-94 mph with his fastball, occasionally hitting 95, to touching 100 mph, to go along with a good slider and changeup. A beast was unleashed.


Improving Your Batting Practice Environment:


As winter begins here in the north, baseball players will retreat to the comforts of indoor training. Brock Hammit has some excellent (and affordable) tips for coaches and trainers on how to improve that environment.




I recently finished reading The Fish That Ate The Whale, a story of a banana peddler’s rise to one of the most powerful men on the planet.


The story of Sam Zemurray is fascinating as well as tragic for the Central American countries that he would disrupt in order to maximize profits for his fruit companies. In order to accomplish toppling governments and replace them with ones who would be more aligned with his business desires, Zemurray would require the help of Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, to tell his story and portray him favorably.


Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, would use psychological tactics in his approach to managing people and brands. One of his specialities was indirection.


Bernays was once hired by the publishing industry to increase the sales of books. Rather than take the message directly to the public that they should purchase more books for entertainment or educational purposes, Bernays approached homebuilders and convinced them to add built-in bookshelves to their new homes thereby making the owners head to the bookstore to fill the empty space.


The subtle indirection greatly boosted sales of books.



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