7th Inning S T R E T C H

7th Inning S T R E T C H

The St Louis Cardinals are not going to play in the World Series!  They got beaten by the San Francisco Giants.  They had a great run and a lot excitement was generated throughout all of the play-off games.  What does that have to do with me?  

Keep reading! In baseball in the United States and Canada, the seventh-inning stretch is a long standing tradition that takes place between the top and the bottom of the seventh inning of each game – in the middle of the seventh inning. Fans typically will stand up and stretch out their arms and legs and sometimes walk around. It is a great time to get a late-game snack as well.  The stretch also serves as a short break for the players. Most ballparks in professional baseball, whether in the major leagues or their respective farm systems, observe this point of the game by playing, while the fans sing along, an old baseball song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.

A letter written by Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Stockings dated back in 1869 talked about something very similar to a seventh-inning stretch. In the letter, he makes the following observation about the fans’ ballpark behavior: “The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches.”

This year, something very unusual happened several times during the 7th inning of the card’s games.  In the National League Division Series, there were three occasions in three different games where the magical 7th inning produced more runs than the rest of the games combined for the team.  In all three of those games, the Cardinals actually won the game because of the lead that they in the seventh inning.  It became so glaringly obvious, that a new confidence would engulf the fans and players alike as the 7th inning approached.  I have never seen anything like it before!

The announcers were saying, somewhat sarcastically, things like, “OK, it’s the 7th inning, it’s time for the Cards to start scoring runs!”  And they did!  I heard statements like that more than once over the air, and many times from fans listening to or watching the games.

In the world of investing, you will hear the phrase, “Past performance does not guarantee future results.”  And that is totally a true statement in most anything that you do.  Including baseball.  Including Music.

But really, is it a stretch to think that, after watching the 7th inning become magical three or four times, the mindset of the fans and players as well could be affected by the past performance in the 7th inning?  Is it a stretch to think that they did better in subsequent games, in that particular inning because they had done so well in that same inning yesterday, or the day before, or last week?  I don’t think that it is much of a stretch at all.  Many superstitions are born out of such happenings.  If a fan wore his cap upside down for an inning and the team scored, why not try it again?   If stomping your feet at a basketball game seemed to be the cause of a shot to go in, then by all means keep stomping.

Now, we all know that there really is NO correlation to stomping, clapping, wearing a cap upside down and baskets being made or runs being scored, but I don’t think that it is a stretch at all to think that a mindset change could produce better results.

If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right!  I don’t doubt for a minute that the Cardinals did perform better for a few games because they EXPECTED to do better in the 7th inning!

In your business, or your ministry, there is no getting around it.  If you have success doing a certain task, you should, by all means, do it again!!  If it works again, keep it up!  There really are certain things that work better than others and testing will prove that, but there is also something to be said for that positive result creating a positive mindset and that positive attitude will go a long way toward making that successful task even MORE successful.

It’s NOT a stretch to think that success will breed more success!  If you find that writing at 9 o’clock works better than writing at 11 o’clock, then write at 9.  Your mindset may have nothing to do with 9 o’clock working better; it really may be the best time to for you to write, but the fact that you have found something that works well, will definitely affect your mindset to the point where it will cause you to aggressively work in that time slot and produce tremendous results!

Your mind is a powerful thing.  It is NOT a stretch to think that you will do well because you have done well in the past.  But be careful, it is NOT a stretch to think that you will NOT do well at something because you have NOT done well in the past.  In that case STOP doing it; find what does work and build your confidence from there.

It’s time for the 7th inning stretch.  Figure out what you are good at, and keep doing it.  Build on your past victories.  Remember a positive result – it’s NOT a stretch to think that that memory will motivate you do recreate that same result again and again!

Your best song is yet to be composed, your best drama is yet to be written and the best results in your business or ministry have not been realized yet!


Terry Gunn


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