Kris Bryant turns pressure into winning

The pressure of expectation can be overwhelming, and this is especially true in sports. At every step of the way, athletes are faced with the expectations of fans, coaches and teammates. The most important expectation of all, though, is the one you set for yourself.

Hopes were high right off the bat for Chicago Cubs Infielder Kris Bryant. As the second overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, people wanted him to succeed. While anticipation was mounting for the rising superstar’s future, Kris set even bigger goals for himself.

“I heard [the pressure]. I didn’t necessarily take it in. Obviously, anytime you’re a high draft pick, there’s more pressure on you. More people want you to do really well. But the thing about myself is that I heard all of it, but I wanted to do even better than what they were telling me they wanted me to do for them. That’s a good mentality to have in any sport. You want to do better than what people expect you to do because you shouldn’t be playing the game if you don’t want to be the best. I’ve always taken that to heart in my work ethic and anytime I’m struggling out there. I’m so determined to get through it and I usually come out on top and I just think that’s a good mentality to have.” –Kris Bryant

Kris had an extraordinary debut season with 26 homeruns, 99 RBIs and a trip to the 2015 All-Star Game and Homerun Derby. He led a previously slumping team to the National League Championship Series and earned a Rookie of the Year nod. The 24-year-old has a fearless mindset that welcomes the chance of failure in return for the opportunity to succeed.

“You have to have talent to play this game, but there’s a lot of talent out there. What really separates guys is the mindset and the mentality of realizing this game is built around failure and you are going to fail more often than you succeed. It’s the times that you do succeed that bring you back to this game and the greatness of it. For myself, it’s always been that if I want something, I’m going to go get it and I’m not going to stop until I do get it. I think you have to have that relentless desire to want to do well. If you have that mentality I don’t think much can stop you.” –Kris Bryant

Listen to my conversation with Kris on Extraordinary Happens. 

Lauren Grancio