Be Royal: How to Be the Best in the World!

Be Royal: How to Be the Best in the World!

I don’t know much about baseball. When you spend summers on
the farm, swimming and baseball are two things you miss out on.  With hand-eye coordination so poor that I am
lucky to hit my mouth with a spoon, it’s not like the world missed out on
another George Brett.  In recent years
though, I have become a bandwagon Royals fan. 
As a long-suffering Chiefs fan, true Royals fans have all of my respect
and support as they celebrate a World Series Victory.  (But really folks, it’s not like we won a
Super Bowl.)
As a recent bandwagon fan, I know very little about the
sport.  What I know I learned from the
Movies: Major League, Bull Durham, and MoneyballMoneyball taught me that baseball has become
all about the numbers.  Teams hire
statisticians who track every aspect of a player’s career and predict potential
value.  Friends who follow the sport tell
me that every team plays this way now.
So when I heard the baseball talking heads pontificating
about the Royals, I found one statement fascinating. “Ned Yost says
championships are won in the clubhouse.” These experts talk about how Ned
Yost’s focus is on building a team of players who have the right personality,
who fit in with each other, who get along, put team above self, work hard,
sacrifice, and support each other.  Some
people in education call these “soft skills.”
I couldn’t help but think about Commissioner Watson’s
Magical Mystery Tour, during which 70-80 percent of Kansans reported that soft
skills are what is important to a successful adult.  Kansans are ready to move beyond Moneyball
schools that focus on statistics, and on to World Champions, where statistics
are just indicators of potential, and success is measured by what they do on
the field of real life.
This will be a tough transition.  Statistics are easy, numbers are hard and
fast, validity and reliability computed, and performance reduced to a score;
but that isn’t good enough to win anymore. 
Kansas schools must go beyond the numbers and give kids the skills they
need to contribute in the clubhouse.