It's hard to believe but baseball Spring Training starts this week. Pitchers and catchers report in a few days. Although Spring Training is a time for renewal and looking ahead, not back, here's a blog that I posted last year at this time. I think is still relevant.

For baseball fans, there is nothing like Spring Training. It is a time to forget about last year and look forward to a fresh start. It is a chance to shake off your blues and have a little fun in the sun. It's like a break but not a vacation. Teams establish their goals for the coming season, and every player works hard or they don't make the team.

Hope springs in Spring Training. Whether they are rookies or veterans, All Stars or Minor Leaguers, Hall of Famers or guys who only had a cup of coffee in the show, everyone has a positive outlook. There are no egos in Spring Training. Everyone mingles with the fans and signs autographs. Every fan has a chance to sit in the front row.

We could all use some spring training to help us escape from the daily dose of gloomy economic news that makes us dread getting out of bed in the morning, and refocus on what we need to do to improve personally and professionally. From a PR perspective, spring training would be a chance to examine our brand, polish our key messages and adjust our communications strategies. It would be a time for every player and coach to get on the same page and realize that only by playing as a team can we give ourselves a real shot at winning the title.

To paraphrase Nuke LaLoosh from the movie Bull Durham, "Baseball is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."

If we think about our own businesses and our own lives that way, we can boil it down and keep things simple. We can avoid getting hung up on the negative and focus on the positive. We can allow ourselves an opportunity to let go of our mistakes and start fresh.

In Spring Training, every team starts out in first place. The teams that win in October are the ones that maintain that perspective through all the ups and downs they encounter over the course of the long season.

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