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The Indians Don't Forget Fun (And Neither Should You!)

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The Cleveland Indians’ journey to the 2016 World Series despite injuries and other challenges stems from the team’s cultural components, such as a fun clubhouse atmosphere and cultivation of GRIT, an acronym further explained below. In this video from PCA-Cleveland’s recent Breakfast with the Indians, President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti (@IndiansGM) explains.

From day one of the long season, Manager Terry Francona works to create a fun clubhouse environment, a differentiating factor for the Indians that makes work more enjoyable and likely to entail maximum effort. Despite the competitiveness of Major League Baseball, fun helps players relax through tense moments and perform at their best. Francona even uses humor on his mound visits and in some of the most meaningful moments in the game.

In addition to fun, the Indians’ culture incorporates a GRIT acronym throughout their system and evaluates players against these components of GRIT:

  • G stands for Growth Mindset. Players must believe in their ability to improve.
  • R stands for Routines. The Indians look for players who can use a routine to their benefit.
  • I stands for Individual Mechanics. Do players have the self-awareness necessary for individual improvement?
  • T stands for Teammate. Are they good teammates, who think about more than just themselves

With the 'Windians' heading to the World Series, the inclusion of both fun and grit have been incredibly important to their success. Fun made all the difference for the Indians, and it can make all the difference for your youth athletes, as well.