||LIFE LESSONS FROM LOU OTT|
"For anyone who wants to know, this is what it means to be a professional baseball player:
My job was on the line every single day.
That taught me work ethic.
If we weren't good enough, we didn't play. And if we didn't play, we didn't get promoted.
That taught me competitiveness.
People would get released or demoted literally every week, and we'd have to see the look on their faces as they cleaned out their locker in front of the whole team, as their dream came to an end.
That taught me compassion.
When we failed or performed poorly, we did it with a spotlight on us in front of hundreds and thousands of people, with no excuses to hide behind and no one to blame but ourselves. And then the next day, we're right back in front of that same disappointed crowd, but we couldn't let that affect us at all.
That taught me mental toughness.
I was on the road for about 7-8 months out of the year, missing out on family, friends, holidays and relationships.
That taught me sacrifice.
There were times when we would outperform our competition, do noticeably better than them, go above and beyond what was expected of us... and still receive no recognition or promotion. Whether it be because of the person's name, or who they know.
That taught me that life isn't always fair.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have seen people less talented than others train extremely hard and just plain outwork/outhustle their competition, and then get recognized and promoted above the more talented player because of it.
That taught me that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.
If I was late, I was fined, fired, or left behind.
That taught me to be punctual.
When you live, travel, work and hang out with the same people everyday, you become close to them and form a bond. You become family. And then in a few months, the season ends and they are gone and you may never see them again.
That taught me the value of friendship.
When I saw, heard and felt the love, respect and admiration from the fans, old and young.
That taught me humility.
I got to listen to the National Anthem (hundreds of times each year) before my job starts each night.
That taught me pride.
But to think others sacrificed their lives so I could chase a dream and play a game.
That taught me perspective. I try to never take the little things for granted.
I have a masters degree in Real Life. It has to be lived. You can't teach it. I have failed in a season, more than most fail in a lifetime and still wanted more. Because that's how baseball players are wired.
You do what you've gotta do, no matter what.
The looks alone on all the little kids' faces when they see you approaching them, like they think you are Derek Jeter and whatever you say to them is gospel. That you could change and influence a child's day/week/month/year or even life by the way you treat them in the next few seconds or the next few words you say to them. And that's when I realized that even though I was the one playing the game, and I was the one who all the kids looked up to and came to see, it really wasn't about me, at all.
And that taught me my favorite lesson...selflessness."
Hitting and Catching
Winnipeg Goldeyes, Winnipeg, CAN
The American Association of Independent Baseball (AA)
· Led the team with a batting average of .330
· Highest on base percentage (.443) on the team
· Strategically led the team with 72 walks and 12 steals in a total of 94 games
· A key element of a record setting season in Winnipeg with 60 wins in 100 games to win the North division and seal a spot in playoffs
The Athletic Edge, Petaluma, CA (08-10 Baseball Offseason)
Baseball Lessons: Hitting, Throwing, Catching, & Defense
Head Instructor/Camp Director
· Worked with kids in developing their individual skills, while improving their mental aspect of the game
· Organized various camps targeted towards team development and group instruction
· Utilized personal experience in coaching/teaching people of all ages (Male and Female, 6-50 years of age)
Gary Southshore Railcats Gary, IN. (04/10- 05/11)
The Northern League of Independent Baseball
· 2nd on the team with a batting average of .301
· On base percentage .391
· Ranked 3rd in league with 26 doubles and 2nd in the league with 6 triples
· Hit a career-high six home runs and drove in a career-high 53 RBI in 90 games
· Batted .750 in four at-bats with the bases loaded and drove in seven runs. Hit .356 overall with runners in scoring position
Florida Marlins Organization, Florida, Jupiter. (04/09- 10/09)
Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League (High A)
· Hit a batting average of .280
· On base percentage .390
Detroit Tigers Organization (06/05-04/09)
· Drafted in 2005 in the 13th round of the first year player draft as a Shortstop
· Advanced as high as Double A (AA) within the organization
Sacramento City College, Sacramento CA (03-05)
· In 2004, as a starting SS, led the state in Walks
· 2005-Became the only switch hitter on the team
· 2005- Led the state in doubles (35 in 50 games)
· Extremely instrumental in advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the California Junior College Playoffs both years as a student athlete.