Taylor's Tales: Lifestyle Challenges

Balancing family and career can be difficult for any professional, but it is particularly challenging for professional baseball players, who are constantly traveling and moving to new cities. Mother's Day weekend was a time for Michael Taylor to reflect on that balance.

I thought I would take a moment to talk about just a few of the challenges that every player faces while chasing the dream of becoming a big league ball player.

With every job there are pros and cons but minor league baseball presents a few unique challenges, highlighted by this passing Mother's Day weekend. The time you have to spend away from your family without question becomes the biggest challenge in this lifestyle.

Now every guy is a little different in terms of how they define their family. Some players have wives, others are married with children, most players have brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, uncles, grandparents, girlfriends or other loved ones that they have no choice but to leave behind or merely work in to a very demanding schedule.

Not only is it tough on the players, it's tough on their loved ones, especially the guys that have a wife and kids. We go to a different place every eight days like clockwork for six months. Most of the players have young children who they want to see and they have to deal with missing days in their kid's lives. Their significant others keep in contact via telephone and make trips out when possible but that can get expensive, plus as a family unit you are trying to make enough money to pay in season and off season bills.

Family life is tough mainly because travel can be rough. Not every road trip is inconvenient but a 4:00 am wake up call followed by a 6:00 am flight followed by a 3:30 batting practice followed by a 6:00 pm game backed up with a 11:35 am game the next day can take a toll on you. So it's important that you get your rest and stick to a great routine but at the same time you do not want to become a robot. Every player has to answer himself this question during the season: How can I stay focused and in a great routine without letting the game swallow me up? When do I allow myself to let go and have a little fun and when do I keep grinding away?

Now sometimes this question is answered for you because you just NEED a day and other times you are doing so well that nothing can bother you, but there is so much gray area in this game picking your spots is crucial. It can save your sanity, so to speak, and while some guys seem to have a knack for knowing when to push on the gas and when to relax, others have to learn how to let things come to you, all the while continuing to get in diligent productive work.

There were no questions this week so I guess I'll end this with a thank you and a God bless.

Michael Taylor

Have questions for Michael? E-mail them along with your first name and last initial and city to oaklandclubhouse@yahoo.com.

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