While I was out with COVID, my teammates were continually checking up on me, every day letting me know they hoped I would get back soon. That’s what teammates and friends are for, and it really helped me get through that time.
It’s easy to feel forgotten when you’re on the injured list. You’re alone and rehabbing, sometimes for many months. The mental struggle of this can really take its toll on you. Being stuck at home with COVID was no different.
My first night back on the field was so great. I was a little over-amped, so I didn’t have the best game, but it was so good to be back. I love being on the field and I love being with my teammates.
Generally, I get along with people easily, but on a team, there are plenty of disagreements. Whenever a disagreement arises between me and another teammate, I want to get to the bottom of it. When we deal with it, it’s always constructive; I’ve never had an issue that lingers forever. But in order to get past it, you have to recognize it and deal with it. It’s worth sitting down and having a hard conversation with someone.
I’ve had many teammates whom I’ve grown really close to — men who have represented what it means to be Christlike in character. Matt Boyd and I have been friends and teammates since we were both in the minor leagues together in 2013. We have a really good friendship going, and he was one of the main people who continually checked in on me while I was quarantined. I missed his presence and company, and I know he did mine. We’ve been able to be a good constant for each other through all the ups and downs in our careers.
When baseball is done, I hope my teammates remember my faith as my No. 1. I want them to think of me as a solid Christian man. After that, I hope that I represented someone on the field who competes and works hard no matter what. I’ve always been one of the younger players on the team, but as I get older, I hope that my work will inspire my teammates in the same way I’ve been inspired by many of my teammates throughout the years.
You’re going to have bad games, but the hard work can never quit. It’s easier to go back in after a good game and work hard; you want to stay the course. In the same way, after a bad game it’s easier to sulk and just go through the motions. But after a hard game, I want my teammates to recognize me getting after it in the weight room, working to be better and stronger for the next game. When I see my teammates do this, it drives me to work harder. I know I can inspire guys in the same way.
When success comes, I want to be the guy who has earned it.
— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here.
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