Baseball Magazine

Don’t Eat the Cheese

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Don’t eat the cheeseDuring the fall, many players and teams use their time (and better weather!) to identify areas where they struggled during the spring and summer and work  to improve upon them.  This is especially true for those who had poor seasons.

This time of year, I don’t tend to worry about the players and teams who struggled.  At some point in the fall or winter, they tend to recognize that improvement is needed and tend to work hard to address their shortcomings.  The group of players and teams I worry about are those who had tremendous spring and summer seasons.  That’s because sometimes they start eating the cheese.

“Eating the cheese” refers to reading your headlines and listening to how good people said you played over the course of the season.  Like the mouse that goes for the cheese, players and teams often find out the hard way that this line of thinking is a trap.  Players and teams that eat the cheese begin to think that improvements are for the other guys who didn’t have good years.  Why should they improve if they were all-tournament, all-league, all-conference, all-American, etc.?

People who eat the cheese also tend to forget who their real competition is.  If they want to start next season, their competition might be the new kid who just moved into their school district.  If they want that scholarship, their competition might be a player clear across the country.  If they want to get drafted in the spring, their competition might be a very poor kid in a third world country who has a much bigger incentive to improve than most American kids.  If it involves a whole team, leadership typically slacks or becomes non existent. 

Play in the fall or wait until the winter.  There are benefits to both but either way, don’t eat the cheese.  

Keep improving because your real competition is either already better or gaining ground very quickly.

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