When You Come to a Fork in the Road, TAKE IT by Yogi Berra, with Dave Kaplan – Great for Educators & Parents

If people don’t want to come out to the park, nobody’s going to stop them.

  • The point is that you can’t take anything for granted in baseball, business, or in life. In order to succeed in any endeavor, you need to work hard and attend to many details. Don’t assume that someone else will do it for you.

You can’t win all the time. There are guys out there better than you.

  • I learned a long time ago that losing is a learning experience. It teaches you humility. It teachers you to work harder. It’s also a powerful motivator. Accept the loses in life and learn from them. Most of the greatest competitors know how to win and lose graciously. When you lose you have to move on and look at the positives.

Don’t get me right, I’m just asking.

  • Communication is really important in everything you do. Yogi always had good rapport with his pitchers. “We learned to think along the same channels.” Teamwork involves a good deal of talk between players and coaches and it’s the same in any business. You need to remind people, anticipate situations, and discuss them. Good leaders are good communicators. They let you know what they expect.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.

  • You must have a good idea of what you want. You need a plan along with confidence and desire. I had a good idea of what I wanted so I could devote myself to that goal. Have a vision, a goal of what you want to do. Unless you’re sure of where you want to go, you’ll never get there.

Ninety percent of the game is half mental.

  • To succeed in anything, you need good intuition and observation. It also helps to have a good memory. As a catcher, I used to study the opposing hitters: their tendencies, their weaknesses, their strengths. As a manager, I use to say: “You can observe a lot by watching.” Always notice the little stuff, it helps. (Dr. Doug: This is what every teacher and principal needs to do all day long.)

Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.

  • I’m not big on owning fancy things. I’ve come a long way from being the son of immigrant parents who couldn’t speak English. I think you are what you are and your values should never change. When I was twelve I helped organize a team. We were the only team who couldn’t afford uniforms. That was a real motivation for us to beat the other guys. Everyone needs to keep a grip on what’s important.

You can observe a lot by watching.

  • It always pays to pay attention. You’d be surprised how much you can learn if you really keep an eye on things. As a catcher, you are the only player who faces his teammates so you can do a lot of watching. You observe the mannerisms and tendencies of opposing batters and the actions of your pitcher. Observing is learning. If you pay attention you can learn a lot. The one exception was on Omaha Beach during World War II when my lieutenant said “Put your head down if you want to keep it.”

It’s déjà vu all over again.

  • Things have a funny way of happening again, even if it takes a while. The Subway Series in 2000 was a lot like the Yankee-Dodger series in the 1950’s. Who thought John Glenn would go into space 25 years later? Forty years ago it was the $64,000 Question. Today it’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It’s almost like déjà vu.

We made too many wrong mistakes.

  • In baseball and in life, your condition, confidence, and concentration affect your performance. But everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are physical or mental. There are mistakes, and there’s wrong mistakes. They are more serious and more avoidable, most costly, and usually mental. Yogi quotes Casey Stengel as saying “Most people my age are dead at the present time.” and “I won’t make the mistake of being 70 again.” in response to mistakes made during the 1960 World Series.
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