Ozzie Smith offers wizard-ly advice for thinking like the greats!

Ozzie Smith says the ability to compartmentalize is key to success. (Photo by Bryanna Gwitt)

Ozzie Smith, chatting here with LSY’s Tim O’Shei and Alexis Greenauer, says the ability to compartmentalize is key to success. (Photo by Bryanna Gwitt)

We’ve got some Wizard-ly wisdom for you, whether you’re an athlete, entertainer, or just someone simply trying to do big things:

Remember to compartmentalize.

That tip comes from Ozzie Smith, a Baseball Hall of Famer who’s widely regarded as one of the best shortstops in history. Nicknamed “The Wizard of Oz,” he won 13 straight Gold Gloves for his fielding ability, was a 15-time All Star, and entertained fans with high-flying backflips when he ran onto the field.

(Never say baseball players can’t be entertainers too!)

LSY/Mount St. Mary Academy sports reporter Alexis Greenauer and I chatted with Ozzie during the enshrinement festivities at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this weekend.

He told us a key mental skill for successful people is compartmentalization: the ability to separate the components of what you do so that if one part is going poorly, those bad vibes don’t seep into other areas.

Ozzie Smith hosted a skills clinic in Cooperstown to raise money for the Baseball Hall of Fame's education programs. (Photo by Bryanna Gwitt)

Ozzie Smith hosted a skills clinic in Cooperstown to raise money for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s education programs. (Photo by Bryanna Gwitt)

“One of the things I think we were blessed with is the ability to compartmentalize,” Ozzie said. “For instance, being able to separate defense from offense. You have to be able to do that.”

This works in every aspect of life: If you fail a math test, you wouldn’t want to let that disappointment affect for language arts grade. If you’re a theatrical performer, you wouldn’t let your frustration with a difficult dance number take away from your ability to sing a solo.

Think about the key skills for what you do, consider which of those you struggle with, and ask yourself: Am I compartmentalizing the way I should be?

“For all of us, I think it’s one of the assets we were born with, and you work on maintaining that as long as you can,” Ozzei said. “That’s what allows us to don our plaques in this hall.”

And it’s what allows you to be great at whatever it is that you love to do.

Tim O’Shei, LSY founder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s