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Jose Bautista - Profile of a Pro

Date:October 23, 2014

I grew up like any true Canadian playing hockey but, given that I was raised close to the Canadian / US border, I also experienced the beautiful game of baseball. We were fortunate to play in 2 leagues: one in Southwestern Ontario and another in Michigan. The level of skill was significantly higher across the river in Port Huron, Michigan. So, I became a student of the game.

And, as a result, I’m a real baseball fan. Although I grew up a Detroit Tigers fan, once Toronto became my home town, I adopted the Toronto Blue Jays as my team and I’ve been following them since their inception in 1977.

I also have to admit to being an ardent listener of The Fan590. In fact, sometimes too much. But just before the season ended (for the Blue Jays), while driving back from a customer meeting, I had the opportunity to listen to Jose Bautista being interviewed on Baseball Central (Jeff Blair & Joe Siddall). Although it’s always hard to speculate on ‘who’s the best’, it’s easy to say that Jose is one of the elite players in MLB and for the Blue Jays.

In Toronto, Jose is a leader and I was amazed at his candor during this interview. I couldn’t record his entire conversation but I’ve highlighted key areas that really impressed me.

Here’s Jose’s daily routine:

  • Arrive at ballpark between 2-2:15 pm –for a 7pm night game
  • Jose goes right into the training room to begin to prepare his body. Does daily stretching exercise, limbering up his whole body to get prepared to play
  • As a power hitter and slugger, a key part of Jose’s preparation is in hitting, so he then takes warm-ups in the batting cage under the field. No hitting – just warming up his swing.
  • Then, Jose proceeds to their video room where he’ll studio videos of the opposing pitcher for that night’s game. He examines everything about the pitcher: delivery, types of pitches, mechanics and speed of delivery.
  • After that, he proceeds to the field and does some more stretching and running and finally ends up at the batting cage for his pre-game warm-ups.
  • Following that he’s back in the dressing room, taking care of any last minute adjustments he feels he needs to make for that night’s game
  • Lastly, Jose spends time with Hitting Coach, Kevin Seitzer, going over the statistics and analysis that Kevin keeps for the pitcher Jose will face that night. They prepare a hitting strategy for the game and that pitcher. They’ll also cover any potential reliever that the team is likely to face so that he is completely prepared to execute at his best for that game.

I was amazed and yet I wasn’t. Jose is a professional and is making millions. But I clearly understand that his talent isn’t enough to keep Jose in the game and playing at a high level.

Then I thought of the rest of us as we toil day in and day out to make a living. I thought of the CEOs, VPs and Directors, myself and all the others I’ve met over the past 6 years and wondered – wow, how do we prepare to wage our battle in our business world. Are we as committed and dedicated to our jobs and roles? Are we committed to spend the amount of time necessary to win new deals? Are we committed to working with business coaches or advisors to make us better?

That interview with Jose was a wake-up call for me. It was powerfully motivating and since then I've made a real commitment to myself and my business partners to not only work hard, but to get prepared. So, here’s to getting better, each and every day!

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Date:October 23, 2014