Aim for the Best - Daniel Norris

My dad is someone I’ve always really admired and looked up to. Since day one, he’s inspired me so much.


When I was growing up, he ran a bike shop, which he owned for 35 years before he retired. He always worked really hard there. I loved hearing the stories he would tell me about mountain biking and the bike shop he spent so much time at. Over the 35 years he worked there, he only ever had two employees work for him, and each only worked there for a few years, simply because my dad liked doing things on his own. When those employees would fix a bike, my dad would still go over every area of the bike to make sure it was perfect. He wanted to know that when he gave the bike back to the customer, it would be fully repaired with his stamp of approval on it.


Now that he’s retired, he’s still never in the house. Instead, he can usually be found working on something in the garage or building a motorcycle — trying to perfect whatever project he’s honed in on at the time. It’s inspiring.


But the thing that’s most inspiring to me about my dad is the way he has always loved and cared for his family, providing for us and giving us everything we need. The way he loves others exemplifies the love of Christ.


My dad never compromised on anything. His work ethic and diligence in all things really helped shape the whole of my baseball career. If you know just a little bit about me, you know that if I miss a pitch or mess up, I become frustrated. Like my dad, I’m a perfectionist. I know this can be a bad thing because I’m supposed to learn from my mistakes and move forward, and I’m working on that. But at the same time, I also think this trait is going to get me to the place I want to be — the very best I can be. So I aim for the best. I aim to live a life like Christ did — fully dedicated.


The Tigers are in a season of rebuilding this year. It’s a young team today, but over the past few years, I’ve really looked up to and learned a lot from Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler and men such as these, whose careers speak for themselves. As for other pitchers in the league, I really appreciate what Clayton Kershaw stands for. Not only is he possibly the best pitcher ever, but his faith in Christ is the No. 1 thing in his life. That inspires me to be open about my faith as well.


Being around the same 24 guys everyday, I can be vocal about my faith and try to tell them about Christ, which is a great opportunity. But it can also rub people the wrong way if I am too persistent about it, so I have to tread lightly. I pick and choose moments when I can be vocal about my faith and then lead by example.


When you make the right decisions about who you need to be and what actions you need to take to get there, it will be clear to others. People take notice. You might not think people are watching you, but they are. Who do you want to show yourself to be?


— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher


Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


Check out Daniel’s profile on The Increase:


If you enjoyed this article, please share: