Hey, my name’s Tanner. It’s great to meet you!
I grew up in Southeastern Wisconsin and went to college at Trinity Christian
College in Palos Heights, IL.
While there, I switched majors three times and took classes in four different
minors before finally graduating with a Bachelor’s of Arts in
Business Communication with a minor in Theology.
My collegiate academic career is a microcosm of my life -- I have so many interests that I get caught up trying to play in all of them at the same time.
There was, however, one thing that remained constant throughout my time at Trinity -- my involvement on the baseball team.
My career changed on March 23 of my sophomore season when I decided that I was sick of being a mediocre pitcher. All of my life, people told me that I had potential on the mound. I was a tall, generally athletic right-hander. What wasn’t to love?
The only thing was that I never grew into what people believed was possible. I had grown sick of hearing their speculation and decided to make it happen. I was 20 years old. I threw 81 MPH.
I decided to change my career by making a bet on myself and going all-in to learning all I could and training to become the hardest-throwing, best pitcher I could be.
What happened was a hodgepodge of brute force, sheer determination, and astounding good fortune. By the time I graduated college 26 months later, my fastball topped out at 94 MPH and I had a reason to pay attention to the 2017 MLB Draft.
I went undrafted, and my relationship with baseball took a turn for the worse. Over the final season of my career, I started to dislike playing the game I spent so much time training for. I didn’t know why, but I no longer loved playing baseball. It got to the point where I even told people that I hated the sport.
Looking back, I realize that I didn’t know my why. I defined myself by what I did, instead of first answering the crucial question of Why I do anything at all.
Baseball had become who I was. I had developed an unhealthy relationship with the sport and things needed to change.
I stepped away for a while (never intending to go back, by the way). I got a job at a traditional 9-5 in my hometown. I did a lot of soul-searching.
It wasn’t easy, but since then, I have identified my why. I realized that the purpose of my life is to empower people to be better at what they do.
I’m fortunate. I get to live that out every day in my current role as a minor league pitching coach in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization. During the 2019 season, I’m stationed with the Orem Owlz in Orem, UT. There’s continuity between my why, how, and what.
To paraphrase Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, once you know your why, you can have infinite how’s and what’s that help bring your why to life.
That is why this blog exists. It’s another avenue through which I get to empower other people like you to be better at what they do.
Take a look around, you might find something of interest to you.
-Moving on from sports
-Counter-intuitive career advice
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