Why So Entitled?
“I’ve been here longer than he has, why am I not the one playing?” “There is no point for me to get ready today, I’m not going to play.” Are these comments that I have heard teammates say? Sure. The sad part is, those are direct quotes from myself at one point in my career. Looking back, those were the most selfish and idiotic comments I could have made. The story that goes along with these comments is a personal one that I haven’t shared with many. However, I tell it here in hopes that it steers someone away from the path I was headed down.
The story starts about half way through one of my early seasons in college. We were playing a doubleheader against a conference opponent and I was in a backup role. I knew the starter was going to get the second game off, and that meant that it was my time to shine. Well, the lineup came out and I wasn’t in it. A younger catcher was in there ahead of me. Instantly, I was dejected and confused. Why wasn’t I the one playing? I went into a shell and wanted to be anywhere but that ball park right then. An older teammate noticed this and told me to come play catch with him to warm up for the next game. We get out there and I’m halfway going through the motions. He told me, “Pick up the pace.” I responded with, “There is no point for me to get ready today, I’m not going to play.” Expecting some consoling, I was rudely awakened when he said, “Fine! Go pack your stuff in the locker room and get out of here if you want to act like that. I don’t want you around if that’s the kind of attitude you have.” He later added, “It doesn’t matter what you want, it matters what’s best for the team.” It was like a light bulb went off in my head as I stood there and wore that chewing.
If you are sitting there thinking, “Wow, that was kind of harsh of him” or “He should have been a little nicer about that” then you need to change your mindset. I was feeling sorry for myself, and I just wanted someone to agree with me that I was good. We all have complained to someone and hoped that they agreed with our complaints so we could feel good about ourself. The real person that you want to be around is the one who tells you when you’re wrong. I was 100% wrong in this situation. I was being selfish and only cared about myself. The truth is, I felt entitled and I had quit working as hard as I could. I got passed up by someone working harder than me. That chewing that I received was the best thing to ever happen to me and I thank my teammate for doing it.
The world owes you nothing! You have to earn everything, nothing is given to you. If you quit working or become complacent then you deserve to get passed up just like I did. If I had complained to the wrong person then that mentality could have spread and nothing will bring down a locker room quicker than a bad mentality. It’s easy to agree with someone who complains because you don’t want to make them feel any worse. In reality, you are making the problem worse by feeding the fire. Be the leader that steps up and puts the fire out.
So, if you are having thoughts similar to the ones I had… Lose them. If you get lit up by a teammate/coach like I did… Thank them! They are the ones who truly care about you!