Monday, March 8, 2010

Are You Going to Spring Training?

Before any game, athletes warm up. They stretch, loosen up, and throw the ball around. Warm ups are important. It gets the athlete ready for the opening play. If he skipped the warm-up, the athlete would play stiff. The baseball player might make a critical error. The football player might get beat for a touchdown.

Before the start of a season, pro sports teams conduct their own team wide warm ups. These are exercises in fundamentals where the coaches help the athletes to eliminate any bad habits in technique that the athlete allowed to creep in. Old plays are reviewed and new ones added. Players work on their timing and seek to make small improvements that result in big differences on the field.

Right now, professional baseball teams are gathering in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. Spring Training costs baseball owners a fortune. Think about moving your entire company across the country for six weeks, putting everyone up in hotels, renting office space, and then returning. While the baseball owners charge for attendance to exhibition games, the games are held in leased ball parks with capacities that are a fraction of the major league ballparks. The revenue doesn’t cover the expense.

Football teams not only have a pre-season to tune-up, but off-season training and mini-camps. Since many of these camps are voluntary, the teams pay the players big bucks in the form of bonuses to encourage attendance. It was reported today that the Cincinnati Bengals’ Chad Ochocinco is passing up a $250,000 bonus so that he can participate in Dancing With The Stars.

Professional athletes are already good or they wouldn’t be able to make a living playing a kid’s game. Yet, they still need pre-season work to get back in playing form.

For the team owners it’s no game. It’s a business. And the owners recognize the value to their businesses from pre-season warm-ups.

What about your business? What are you doing for your company and for your best players? For that matter, what are you doing for yourself? If you don’t know, click here to check out the Service Roundtable’s Spring Training Opportunities.

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