Winners Quit: Entrepreneur & Former College Baseball Player Troy Ericson reveals why surrender is his secret to success
The shame & embarrassment was incomprehensible.
Troy Ericson looked toward the dugout and saw his coach walking out to the mound.
The pain in his heart was unbearable. He knew that he had just thrown the last pitch of his collegiate career.
Just six years earlier, he had been in a similar situation in high school in which he blew out his right arm, resulting in an eventual Tommy John Surgery & year long rehab process — unheard of at the time for such a young kid.
And even more unbelievable that he had still managed to play in college after having his high school career cut in half.
But this time was different. There was no ‘comeback’. There was no ‘next level’ to make it to. It was too late.
This time, Troy was not dealing with a physical pain, but a mental one.
The mental complications from his major surgery & deep subconscious fears of re-injury had stunted Troy’s performance on the field.
It’s called ‘the yips’, a subconscious fear in the mind that plagues many athletes after an injury, sometimes years later.
Simply put, Troy no longer had control over where the ball was going when he threw it.
And this time, there was no second chance.
“I remember walking off the mound, with my whole career replaying in my mind. All the highs, all the lows. All the good times, all the bad. And it stung to know that it was over.”
A few days later, Troy, a senior, learned that he was cut from the team.
“I hid for about 2 weeks. I felt so much shame. I had let so many people down. It’s the worst feeling in the world when someone depends on you and you don’t deliver.”
But Troy didn’t give up. After receiving a visit from an old friend, Troy was back in the gym and back in the practice facility, sneaking in late at night when the team wasn’t there, in hopes of getting good enough to one day be signed by a professional independent baseball team.
Week after week, Troy tried everything to fix the mental bumps he was going through along with improving the physical aspect to his game.
“I got in the best shape of my life, fine tuned the physical aspect of my game, and kept a winner’s attitude. I had been using different mental coaches for years, and kept trying, and trying, and trying to fix my subconscious. But when I played in an adult league later that year, my inconsistency came right back. I’d be great one day and awful the next.”
In total, Troy spent 18 months after he got cut trying to conquer his mental struggles and also touch the ‘magic 90mph mark’, a sign of a pitcher who has potential to play professionally.
During that time, Troy read a book called ‘The Surrender Experiment’ that would change everything he thought about life.
“My whole life I’d never given up. I told myself I’d play professional baseball one day, no matter how hard the journey was. I thought it would be weak of me to stop playing. My identity was seeded in my performance on the field, until I read ‘The Surrender Experiment’. I quickly learned that quitting is NOT the same as giving up. Giving up is to stop going after something you still deeply desire. Quitting is realizing that your desires have changed, and shifting course toward your new goal.”
Fortunately for Troy, he had another passion. He already started a business in college. It was a social media marketing agency that he would work on every night after practice. And soon after reading the book, Troy realized that his passion for business & entrepreneurship had taken a larger role in his life.
“It’s still weird to me to say I don’t play baseball anymore. I don’t actually know if I do or not. I still work out. I still throw sometimes. But I do it because it’s fun. I no longer base my worth off of my performance. I don’t know what my baseball future holds. Maybe coaching. I love the game but the mental stress of preparation day in & day out takes a toll. Right now I just want to keep it fun while I work on my business. I’ve finally surrendered to God’s plan for me to impact lives through business. And I’m okay with that. A couple years ago, I would’ve fought it.”
2020 has been a HUGE year of growth for Troy, both in mentally and business-wise. He’s more than 5x’d his business halfway through the year, even during Covid, and is a hot commodity as a copywriter, someone who uses persuasive writing to sell high ticket products & services. And it all happened after he decided to surrender.
“If it weren’t for surrender, I’d still be burning myself out, fighting to make baseball work. But for whatever reason, it didn’t. I learned SO much from playing it for 15 years. I wouldn’t trade my experiences & my hardships for anything. I really am a believer that everything happens for a reason. There’s only one way the world can play out, and that’s the way that it does. It’s my goal to never give up, but always surrender.”
You can contact Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org.