The competition drove George crazy

by | Jun 29, 2019 | Blog

In my opinion, one of the most interesting people to ever own a major league baseball team was George Steinbrenner.

When I say “interesting”, I don’t mean a good owner – actually, he did a lot of damage to the Yankees during his time in control.

Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, the Yankees were known as the “Bronx Zoo” because of all the drama and infighting going on. Steinbrenner was an overly-controlling owner who had his finger in every part of the pie, and drove everyone crazy. He hired and re-hired manager Billy Martin multiple (4 or 5) times, and he used the media to attack his players since he thought that was the best way to motivate them.

In my opinion, one of George’s worst traits was his approach to competition, especially with the New York Mets.

For years the Mets weren’t much of competition for the Yankees, but by 1984 they were a team on the rise. They had a mix of exciting rookies and solid veterans, a great manager (Davey Johnson), devoted fans, and none of the drama of the Bronx Zoo.

With everything going on in the Yankees dressing room, fed-up Yankees fans started heading over to watch the Mets instead.

Steinbrenner became obsessed with the other New York team, even though the Yankees were in the American League and the Mets in the National League, and would only play each other in spring training (or if both teams did well enough, in the World Series).

He fretted over the meaningless spring games versus the Mets, and flipped at his players if they lost one of them. The players were on pins and needles, and it hurt their performance.

He watched the Mets’ attendance numbers like a hawk, and started forcing the employees at Yankees stadium to fudge the Yankees attendance stats to increase them if he wasn’t happy with the real number.

He made a bunch of bad trades and signings to draw fans away from the Mets and back to the Yankees, but it only made the situation worse.

He forced his players to practice on their off-days, when they should have been getting well-needed rest for their bodies and their minds.

Then in 1985, former Met Tom Seaver won his 300th career game at Yankee stadium (while pitching for the White Sox) and George blew a gasket when he saw Yankees fans cheering for a former Met to win … that led to even more shenanigans.

The Yankees didn’t win another championship until 1996, after Steinbrenner reduced his involvement with the team and could do it less harm – but his obsession with the Mets shows the danger of worrying too much about the competition.

I’ve seen people in the online space worry too much about other guys and gals.

They may not be as obsessed as George was, but they base their decisions on other people instead of going with their guts and doing what they want to do.

I try not to pay too much attention to other coaches in my niche. Sure, it’s good to keep a finger on the pulse, but I want to stay in control and not make poor decisions out of fear of the competition.

It’s all about staying focused and keeping your horse-blinders on to focus on your business, not others.

If you’d like to learn a way to get your competition worrying about you rather than vice-versa, the July issue of Secret Coach Club will be teaching how to set up your own laser coaching program.

The deadline to get it is tomorrow night at midnight EST:

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