by Dana Cavalea October 31, 2019

1 Comment

Hey Team...

How about those Washington Nationals!

I must admit, this was a hard series for me to pick a favorite, since I trained Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros... and Kevin Long, the hitting coach of the Nationals is a good friend- and fellow 2009 World Series winner with me with the Yankees!

But, in the end, my heart always goes with the UNDERDOG.

And, in this series, that was the Washington Nationals.

A team that came out of nowhere, and defeated all the GIANTS in Major League Baseball this year in the playoffs.

We usually see teams like this in the NCAA Basketball Tournament- and call them the Cinderella Team... but it was really fun to watch and see this in baseball this year..

What made this team so special though?

  • They played together... always picking each other up...
  • No deficit was too big.. they always came from behind to win.. even when they were down
  • They were having FUN!
  • Players that were young, rookies stepped up and played major roles...
  • Veterans, they played hurt and did whatever it takes to get on the field and help the team, not themselves...
  • They overcame HARDSHIP and Injury....
  • They were never supposed to win by outsiders perspective, but.....
  • They BELIEVED.

What if you applied this recipe of success to your team?

Is your team having fun anymore?

Are they playing together?

Just because a person is new to your team, do they feel like they have to earn their stripes before they can make an impact?

Or, is your team built and fueled by selflessness- and whoever is best should do the job?

Or, is your team a typical ego driven team-- hyper-focused on personal gain, success, title, and promotion... more so than on winning as team?

Listen, if you want to win in business, it is not much different than business.

YOU, as the Leader get to create the type of atmosphere you want...

YOU, get to influence the way your people communicate with one another...

YOU, ultimately decide if you want to have WINNING VALUES or SELFISH VALUES driving your team or enterprise....

Take a page for the Washington Nationals 2019 Playbook- play together and your chances for winning go way up.

Focus on individual success- and plan on heading home early.

Instead... encourage your people to have that UNDERDOG MENTALITY...

Encourage them to play hard.... be transparent.. and push their own limits....

As a team- leave the ego at the door and approach each day like it is GAME 7 of the World Series and you just may get to hold a trophy over your head at the end of the game... or at the end of the 4th Quarter!

Let's GO!

Your Coach,


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

1 Response


January 24, 2023

Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
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