Little League “Fall ball” just started a couple of weeks ago, so we’re back at the baseball fields several times a week for practices and games. This season, we’re lucky to be with a coach we know and love, Barry. Barry led us to a sweet victory last year in a season where we achieved mostly crushing wins over our opponents. That’s what Barry does—he takes a bunch of boys, builds a team and wins games. Every time.

If you’ve ever taken a kid to baseball practice, you know it’s not a quick sport. Practices are at least 2 hours. Games are usually 2 hours, plus the one hour warm-ups and post-game team huddle. So, I spend a lot of time at the ball fields watching the kids in practice and games. Which gives me a lot of time to reflect on what makes one team better than another. There are bad teams, mediocre teams and good teams. And then there is Barry’s team. Every coach gets the same raw material to work with—they pick the players in a draft, and all get the same time allocation for practices. Every season, there are new boys that the coaches don’t know. And yet, Barry transforms his raw material into winners. Why? Is it because he’s got better baseball skills? Is he a better teacher? Maybe. But I think it’s something else.

If we’re scheduled to practice from 5-7pm, we see other teams packing up their bags at 6:45ish. Barry’s team practices until 6:59:59, and not a second less. Not sure when the boys on the other teams go to bed on the evening before a game, but we get a ‘bed check’ text message from Barry—a friendly reminder to put our players to bed early so they are well rested. The other teams arrive 30 minutes before game time, and spend the first few minutes getting organized and dilly-dallying in the dugout. Barry’s team arrives 90 minutes before game time and gets right to work the second they step on the field. Snacks in the dugout? Not on our team—that would be too distracting. Barry encourages the boys to watch the game, and keep the count, while the other teams chomp away. Walking across the field? Never—Barry reminds our boys to hustle every time they are on the field, with every step. Baseball is an emotional sport. When players on other teams make fielding errors or strike out—it’s visible. Their shoulders slump, they lose their swagger and they slink across the field, usually grumbling all the while. When Barry’s boys screw up, they know to keep their chin held high. Keep calm and carry on.

Ok, you get the point. Barry makes winning teams because he expects excellence. It’s not just baseball. It’s Baseball. He asks the boys to honor their responsibility to their team. And they do.

Here’s my conversion lesson inspired by Barry: Either you want to win the baseball game, or you don’t. And if you do, you respect the game and do whatever it takes to make it happen. You decide to win, and then you do.

Either you want higher conversions or you don’t. If you do, then you make it happen. Analyze deeper. Test smarter. Try harder. Think bigger. Don’t go through the motions. Win the game in a crushing defeat over your competitors.

You know what happens when you get a few wins under your belt? You get some swagger. And suddenly, you’re a landing page rockstar.

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