Two-time MLB All-Star. 2015 Rookie of the Year. 2016 World Series Champion. 2016 Most Valuable Player… all before the age of 25.

Kris Bryant is no stranger to success, rising to world prominence and baseball superstardom in less than two years. His extraordinary performance on the field and inspiring leadership off the field has propelled his career to new heights. But how did Kris’ skyrocketing success happen so quickly? Well, he doesn’t give himself any credit. In fact, Kris is all about the team. When you put your team first, everything else falls into place. If you change your thoughts, your performance will follow. Think like a team player and you’ll be the best kind of player.

What comes first – team or individual success?

Team success comes first. When you start focusing on the success of your team, your own success will follow because you’re not so focused on doing well – you’re just focused on winning. When you focus on winning, you’re just doing everything you can to help out. Usually, something good comes from that. For me, it’s definitely the team before the individual. As humans, we’re all selfish. We all want to do well. But the sooner we realize this mentality ultimately hurts us, we will be better for it.

What kind of leader are you?

It’s easy to determine your role when you have so many good guys working toward a common goal. Mine was just do anything I can to help out and win in any way possible. Whether that was me moving all over the field in different positions or hitting in a different batting order.

Meditation and visualization prepare Kris and the Cubs to enter the field in the right frame of mind.
Kris Bryant holding a baseball black and white
After two incredible seasons, Kris is ready to hit 2017 head on and make it another home run.
Kris Bryant walking back and white
It’s never lonely in the outfield knowing your team is always behind you.
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How do you prepare for a big moment?

I do a lot of visualization. It started in college for me. Before every game we’d sit in a circle and basically meditate and visualize and picture the pitcher on the mound. For me, in any big situation when the crowd is cheering a little louder, it’s all about calming down and focusing on your breath and the only thing that’s constant there is the stuff that you have control over. You hear that a lot in baseball and sports in general – focus on your breathing. The mental side of the game is very prominent now. That’s how I prepare. I tell myself that I’ve been in this situation before, so there’s no need to react any differently.

What tips would you give to any team or group that needs to improve their spirit or up their performance?

For a team or an individual, it’s all about the highs and the lows. It’s like a roller coaster. You’ll always have those moments where you have four really good games in a row and you feel on top of the world and then you have four really bad games in a row and you question why you even play the game. I think if you’re able to get to that middle ground and realize that things are going to turn around or things are not always going be this good, it keeps you grounded.

What inspires you most about being on a team?

In baseball, there are nine guys on the field and you need them all to win. You need someone to make an out. Not to take anything away from the other sports, but in basketball you could have one player just take over the game. Golf is an individual sport. In football, it’s usually the quarterback or the running back. But baseball is the perfect combination of all of it.

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by Wilson Masaka 12.04.2017
Great article, great teamwork is the total sum of individual effort embedded in unique cultures that promote a collective meaning of success.
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