There are so many young athletes out there who dream of making it to the pros. Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball or any other sport, every young player fantasizes about what it would be like to play on a pro team, maybe even as a high scorer. Sometimes all it takes is raw talent, but those players are few and far between.
If you look at all the greats in any sport, you will see that they have two traits in common: a love of their sport and a determination to excel. To get an idea of just how important these are, let’s take a look at one of the greatest and most memorable players in baseball history, Joe DiMaggio.
He Knew from the Very Beginning
In an article on the Imagine Sports Diamond Mind website, we get a glimpse of the life of this son of Italian immigrants. His father was a fisherman in a long line of Italian fishermen who had hoped that young Joe would follow in his footsteps. However, as fate would have it, young Joe became passionate about this American sport, baseball.
He lived and breathed for the sport and spent most of his waking hours thinking of or playing the sport. What you see here are the two traits that most pro players have in common. They have a sincere love for their respective sports, and they have the determination it takes to make it to the pros.
Learning from the Greats
Another thing most aspiring players share in common is their willingness to learn from the greats. Back in Joe’s day, there was no YouTube or cable television to show moments in sports history like you can view today on ESPN. For Joe, his amazing sense of work ethics and determination to give every game his all led him to the top with a home run to strike out ratio that has never been equaled to this day.
Many young players literally relive those moments when DiMaggio led his team to victory after victory. Even after leaving for three years to serve in the military, Joe came back to attack his sport with the same love and determination that brought him to the top in the years before the war. His stats clearly show just how committed he was to giving every game his all which is why young players today spend hours learning from the legendary Jumping Joe DiMaggio.
In His Words: Why He Gave Every Game His All
Once, late in his career, Joe was asked why he worked so hard to give every game his all when it had no bearing on the outcome of the game or the Yankee’s season as well. He was quoted as explaining that there may be some kid out there in the spectators who was an aspiring player. He said, “I owe him my best.”
In the end, that’s how Joe DiMaggio lived the game and his very life as well. He attacked life with the same love and determination that got him a place in baseball history not since matched. If only every player on the field had the same sense of passion for the sport as well as for the fans who support them. What does it take to get to the top? Perhaps it takes looking at the lives of the best like DiMaggio himself.