I'm a Braves fan. My older son started playing baseball in '91, the first of the Braves' record 14-in-a-row division titles. Between Tyler and the Braves, I went from a baseball hater to baseball as, perhaps, my favorite sport. So, it's fun to talk about a Brave player who is exemplifying resilience: Dan Uggla.
Uggla signed with the Braves this year for big money (5 years, $62 million). And promptly hit .173 through the 4th of July. That's pitiful. There are pitchers hitting better than that. Go home, right? Not Dan. Not only did he not quit, he kept a resilient attitude that motivated his teammates:
“You’ve got to stay humble, stay positive and keep going in the right direction. And stick with your routine. I think more times than not if you stay strong mentally, you’re going to be able to battle back and help your team out.”
Dan was right. Today, his average is still only .232 - nothing to write home about, but he leads the team with 29 home runs and 65 RBI. And he is likely to become the first second baseman ever to hit 30 or more homers in 5 seasons.
Oh, and what about the team? Well, they're doing ok also. The Braves have the second-best record in the National League and look to have a good chance to make the playoffs. So is Dan's resilience important only to him? Nope. The article that inspired this post and provided the quotes says:
"[H]e’s been a model for how players should handle themselves when things get really dire. Both Derek Lowe and Jason Heyward have mentioned independently how they’ve tried to pattern themselves after Uggla as they endure their own struggles."
If those two players - a pitcher and a hitter - turn their seasons around the way Dan has, the Braves have a chance to do something in the playoffs.
Resilience isn't always pretty. But it is always inspiring. Way to go, Dan Uggla. Go Braves!