There is a direct correlation between what it takes to succeed in sports, and what it takes to succeed in business, which is why I reached out to right handed slugger for the Toronto Blue Jays, Jose Bautista. In this exclusive interview Jose and I discuss what has given him the ability to succeed in sports on the highest level.
Jay: Baseball season is just around the corner, and it’s an honor to spend a few minutes talking about baseball. There’s so much that you do behind the scenes that makes you so great, which we as fans don’t get to see.
Jose: My pleasure Jay. Baseball is a career like anything else and you only get out what you put in. What’s interesting to me is that the mental toughness and focus is what really helps players succeed. As a player your only in the batters box 3 or 4 times a game, but the amount of preparation needed to prepare and execute is tremendous. If I don’t spend the time studying film to know the pitch selection of each pitcher, what pitches they use on an 0-2 count, even understanding what their deliveries look like, I’d strike out every time. You don’t have time to study a pitcher who’s throwing 90 MPH once you get into the batters box. You’ve got to know everything you possibly can about them before they get there, and let your fundamentals tell you what to do.
Jay: Does that emotional pressure drain you physically?
Jose: If I’m not careful on how to plan your day it would completely knock me out. The most important thing to do before games is to keep yourself lose. Not just physically, but mentally. You’ve got to be able to find the proper balance between doing as much research for the next game as possible, but at the same time not revving it up until game time itself. I pay close attention to everything I do before each game to make sure I have as much energy and focus in the tank I need to perform at a high level. If there were meetings before a game, or other obligations that I had to fulfill before a game, that takes away from my ability to reserve all my energy for the game. Any player will tell you in order to execute properly you need to be fully focused to persevere, and to do that you need to have everything else out of your head.
Jay: What’s your mindset like in the beginning of a baseball season that is so long?
Jose: In business and really in life in general, the saying goes “take everything step by step”. When you start your own business, or start a job working for a company you’re at the beginning of a very long process. You don’t even know what the end results will be. You need to stay focused on what you do well and set small goals day by day. The same is true in baseball, you can’t play each game with the world series in mind. If you do you’ll never get there. Each game has it’s own challenges, and the one goal you have in mind is to play your best baseball to win that game. Never overplay or overthink, stay true to yourself and play to your strengths.
José Bautista is a professional baseball right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). His professional career began when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 20th round of the 2000 first year player draft. In 2010, Bautista became the 26th member of the 50 home run club while leading the major leagues in home runs for the first of two consecutive seasons, and, from 2010–15, has hit more home runs than any player in the major leagues. An MLB All-Star selection six consecutive times, he has won three Silver Slugger Awards and two Hank Aaron Awards. In addition, he has been granted the American League Player of the Month Award five times and the Player of the Week four times. Before being traded to the Blue Jays, Bautista primarily played third base.