Today is the day. As a Tigers fan this is the day I have been looking forward to since October 5th, 2014. On that night my team was swept out of the playoffs by the Baltimore Orioles. As I turned off the TV I looked at my friends and I said “Now we look forward to the day that pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.” Today is that day, February 19th has arrived. For a baseball fan the long months between the fall classic and spring training are hard to deal with. You pour over the trades and the movement of players, updates on injuries and hopefully no new ones, but this is it. It is the unofficial beginning to the season. Strap in, it is going to be a long road that hopefully ends in hoisting the trophy in the cold nights of early November.
Spring training means something else, too. It means that all those issues you were dealing with in the last season, the late losses and the blown saves, are done. All those swings you knew you should have waited on, those pick off attempts you knew were a bad idea, all the bad is in the last season. Does that mean your fans are going to forget them? Probably not. But hey, it is a new year and everyone is 0-0 in the standings and you have the world in front of you.
What does that have to do with social media? Well, it means that you could have messed up in the past, but that is okay. You may have been unprepared and got blown out of the water by competition and your losses far out number your wins (think Houston Astros) but that doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is that you are preparing for the upcoming season or campaign or year with as much research and passion as you can. Will your audience be as large as if you won all your games last year? Of course not. As a matter of fact, you may have a lot of people thinking you can’t do it. They are pointing at what you did before and saying “See? They can’t do it. Just not enough talent.” What should you say?
Who cares? It is a new year. Re Grip, retool. Get rid of the pieces that were holding you back and get back out there.
There is a flipside to this coin, too. The team that crushed it last year. The one that could not be stopped, they just rolled through their division and could not be touched. The playoffs were a lock from the middle of June and they coasted in with one of the best records in the league. Obviously, only one team can win the world series (congrats again, San Francisco), but there are plenty of teams that have a huge boost. They win, all the time. You can jump up and surprise them, but they are never completely flat and often find a way to make it close at least. All smiles in the off season, excited to get to some warm weather for the spring and for the winning ways to start.
This is where you have to be careful. Often, I see brands and companies start to rest on their wins. They refer to what they have already accomplished, the past victories, instead of focusing on what is up next and what they are doing now. It is great you have won a World Series every other year for the past half decade, but what are you doing now? Do you have a large fan base going into the next year, into the next campaign? Sure you do, but none of that matters unless you DO something with it. You have to be looking forward. The best teams in the league look forward two to three years at all times. Setting themselves up to not only be competitive but to stay competitive. You are just like the team that ended the season at the bottom of your division, so dont rest on the victories of the past, ALWAYS look forward to the upcoming year. Get your work in. The season is approaching, and, if you are not ready, you will be 5 games below .500 by June 1 and not know what hit you.