Teamwork is the number one skill, but it is more than just functioning perfectly as a team. It is getting through the times when you are “stuck.” It happens every day in business, and being a professional athlete helps you understand all the times that you have got yourself and others out of jams.
As a part of our series about the work ethic lessons we can learn from professional athletes, I had the pleasure of interviewingTip Fairchild.
Tip rose to baseball stardom at Monmouth Academy and the University of Southern Maine, and then to the professional ranks as pitcher in the Houston Astros organization. During his baseball career, his mind, drive, and compassion always matched, or perhaps even surpassed, his arm. When he retired after the 2009 season, he turned his sports experience into a successful role as corporate sales strategist. He joined SquadLocker, a company that provides online tools for teams, organizations, and schools to manage custom apparel and equipment purchasing and is currently Director of Sales. Tip is an avid user of SalesForce and powerful data during and after the initial sale. His specialty is developing sales processes from introduction of a lead to execution of a sale and beyond.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Excited to be a part of it! I grew up in a small town in central Maine called Monmouth. It’s a beautiful lakes area so I spent my childhood playing sports with friends, on the lake, and mowing lawns as my first job. My parents created an atmosphere around the house that brought mine and my sister’s friends over. We had a half court lit basketball court as well as a little league size baseball diamond in the back yard. It is hard to total how many hours I spent in those two areas growing up.
My parents were both educators, so my friends and I learned a lot of lessons out there. How to win, how to lose, how to take a punch, and how to deliver one. But I think most importantly, I learned how to work hard, and play the next day, no matter what.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional athlete?
I would say it was coaches all along the journey. My goal was always to just play at the next level. If I was in little league, I wanted to make the all-star team. If I was in high school, I wanted to play in college. I was somewhat naïve to how talent is not geographical. Because you are from small town Maine, that didn’t mean that you could not be as good a baseball player as an athlete from a powerhouse state like Texas or Florida. There were just not as many of us. I didn’t learn this until I was really halfway into my college career developing into my young body and with the help of the coaching staff at University of Southern Maine (USM). Ed Flaherty, our head coach, believed I had another level in me, and in June 2005, I was drafted by the Houston Astros. I continued my baseball career for five years in their organization.
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