It was a day like no other in MLB ballparks across the country. The smell of hot dogs and bratwurst, the sound of thousands of fans cheering, and an opulent sense of excitement filled the air as Major League Baseball’s opening day kicked off in ballparks across the nation.
Countless fans called in sick to work and played hooky from school. Numerous stadiums sold out for the kickoff of this year’s 162 game-season and for the only time during the regular season the roster, coaching staff, and club-house staff were introduced in their entirety.
For players, four months of hard work and preparation led them to this highly anticipated day and opening day represented a chance for them to showcase their skills. For teams and fans opening day represented a chance to start a new with a 0-0 untarnished record.
Early Wynn a former player for the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians once said, “An opener is not like any other game. There’s a little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. You have that anxiety to get off to a good start, for yourself and for the team. You know when you win the first one, you can’t lose them all.”
Opening day captivates millions of people across the nation with all of the excitement and anticipation that surrounds it, but the excitement and anticipation will slowly fade. Most stadiums will fail to continue to sell out and television ratings will drop. For the next five months a lot of fans will just catch a game when they can.
There will be no more playing hooky or skipping work until October when the MLB playoffs roll around. But as soon as the playoffs roll around the sense of excitement will return and millions of viewers will tune in to cheer their teams on to a World Series Championship.
But for true fans and the best players and coaches, every game counts. Yes, opening day or the playoffs may be the most exciting, but everything that happens before, in between, and after is just as important.
I think that fraternity life is a lot like the MLB season. There is an unparalleled sense of excitement that surrounds “opening day.” Everyone is pumped for the rush period and that first big social event. But slowly as the season (school year) progresses the excitement fades. Recruitment slows or even comes to a complete halt. For some Brothers fraternity life becomes “work” and they forget about the fun. The days will drag on until the excitement will return when spring formal rolls around and classes let out for the summer.
However, for the Brothers who take away the most from their experience, everyday matters. Recruitment is a year round activity. Every event between the first one and the last one is a chance to build Brotherhood and the off-season (summer) is a chance to gain a leg up on the competition.
In MLB terms, the Brothers who make the most of everyday are the All-Stars. They are the true players, fans, and coaches. They rarely skip a beat and they understand the importance of each and everyday. They find excitement in every fraternal activity in which they partake, and they are intrinsically motivated to be the biggest and the best.
What kind of fan, player, and coach are you for your Alpha?
If you are not already an All-Star, I am challenging you to work towards becoming one. Get geared up for everyday. Make the most of your fraternal experience. It may sound cliché, but trust me the more you put in to the fraternity the more you will get out of it.
If you are already an All-Star, think about how you can create that same sense of pride, excitement, and motivation in your Brothers. Find a way to harness that opening day excitement and keep it going throughout the year. Plan events that make the Alpha stronger. Recruit dynamically, day in and day out. Find a way to make everyday fun for you and your Brothers. Often the most successful professional sports teams are the one’s who have the most fun. The same goes for Alphas. Check out the Program For Excellence Manual to find ways to have fun and better your Alpha.
Whether you are already an All-Star or you are on your way to becoming one, don’t let that opening day excitement fade. Challenge yourself, and challenge your Brothers. Take your team to the next level. See if you can build a dynasty. Capture the excitement of opening day, and make it last all season long!