Michigan has been on one of the more magical runs, not just in college baseball, but in all of sports. This is the first time any Big Ten team has even reached the College World Series since 2013 and this marks Michigan’s first trip to the CWS in 35 years. Even right before the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan was coming off a series loss to Nebraska in mid-May, had lost five of its previous seven games and were starting to struggle.
Now the Wolverines have won ten of their last fourteen games, taken down #1 UCLA to advance to the CWS, and are humming along with one win away from the CWS Finals.
And what has been the secret to this incredible run? One word.
“Turn Kenny on,” Wolverines outfielder Jordan Brewer told a teammate after the Wolverines upset Texas Tech on Saturday.
“At practice Kenny’s on, on the bus Kenny’s on, in the airplane Kenny’s on, and when we’re chillin’ Kenny’s on.”
After a series loss to Nebraska at the end of May, the team decided to attend a Kenny Chesney concert in Lincoln, Nebraska for his “Songs of Saints” tour. It was a chance to put the bats down and hang out together in an environment with no pressure or worry. “It was stress-free after that,” Brewer said. “We washed everything away. It was like a mental flush.”
I love it! I know this is cliche, but sports are 90% mental. As a team, it is so important to find that balance between working hard and having fun. When you are able to relax and just enjoy the moment, all the pressure tends to fade away. And there isn’t an artist on this planet that can put you in the perfect mood, quite like Kenny. On a boat? Kenny. At a BBQ? Kenny. At a party? Kenny. About to play in the CWS? Kenny.
PS: Think I can convince my boss to let us play Kenny in the office to boost productivity? Can’t hurt to ask.
PPS: If you are having a bad day, put this on. It is scientifically impossible to be in a bad mood when this comes on. Turn it up!