COVID-19 and Frustration

This sucks.

For any number of reasons.

Work with the Reds was going better than I could have possibly imagined, Driveline Baseball had its most productive pro off-season ever (which is saying a lot), and now this. It all comes to an abrupt halt. Meanwhile, a significant portion of the country doesn’t take it seriously at all.

The Washington State governor shut down all “places of recreation,” which includes Driveline Baseball’s facility in Seattle. It’s the right move. But it comes with no guarantee of financial or economic relief, which is a bit scary, since we’re in the middle of moving our gym to a 40,000+ square foot location that we’re building out, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the best place in the world to train for baseball…. and no one will be using it for the foreseeable future.

We thought about doing pop-up small group training in Florida and Arizona, but with players headed home from their complexes… it doesn’t make financial sense.

We have 60+ people on the payroll, a major line of our business has been forcibly taken away from us (in-person training), our most popular items continue to be out of stock due to COVID-19 shipment-related delays, we continue to hear very little about economic relief for small business owners… it’s not what you want.

College coaches around the nation go from working 14 hour days to suddenly not knowing what to do with their spare time. Not knowing where their next paycheck is going to come from, or if they’ll still be able to supplement their income with that summer ball job they have lined up. I feel that – going from working 80+ hour workweeks because of the amazing opportunity I had with the Reds to… not quite really knowing what I should be doing.

But as I’ve said before, greatness is born out of times of crisis, not times of excess.

As coaches, we have time to continue our education and to get better. To be with our families. To focus inward.

As players, you have time to continue to develop. Many of your peers – pro and amateur alike – will take this time off to go fishing, to hang out, to look at the bad side of this. When the season starts up again, those who have committed to working hard through this time of strife will have an enormous edge. You can rally your teammates and friends through group texts and videoconferencing to keep them on task, to return with a vengeance while the others squander this opportunity.

As businessowners, we have time to improve our internal processes and to rise to the tough challenges we face, rather than put them aside because things were going “well enough.” It is a time for decisive action. It is foolish to assume help is coming from a third party; small business owners around the world know just how unlikely it is that help will arrive.

As coaches, players, businessowners – we get paid and become great by making the tough choices. Not the easy ones. Playing/coaching the game was always something we’d do for free. The salary is for the other stuff. And now, well, we got a lot of the “other stuff” to deal with.

So let’s go to work.

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 and Frustration”

  1. Setting up virtual training classes – having players send daily work out schedules, perhaps even video can keep them on track.

    While the coronavirus is bigger than all of this – keeping busy, keeping active will also lessen anxiety.

    Keeping in touch with players, not just prospects, may also give them a sense of pride of wanting to continue, instead of thinking they don’t have another year to compete.

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