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Shaped by Our Game: Chris Begg

Shaped by Our Game, is an initiative on that profiles people who have used our sport to achieve success later in life. Baseball is a sport that provides great life lessons and teaches skills that are applicable for future success in life whether on the baseball field or not.

Chris Begg pitched for the National Team from 2003 to 2009 participating in two Olympic Games (2004 & 2008) and two World Baseball Classic events (2006 & 2009). Chris capped his playing career, which included eight professional seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization, by helping Canada win a bronze medal at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup.

Today, Chris teaches Physical Education and Business at Everest Academy, a private school located in Richmond Hill, Ontario where he is also a Coach in their baseball program.

Chris has also stayed involved with the game through guest coaching appearances with the Junior National Team program, and through coaching at Tournament 12 held in Toronto each September.

Chris Begg is our latest profile in Shaped by Our Game.

Chris Begg file:

Age: 37
Hometown: Uxbridge, Ontario
Education: Niagara University, Business (Marketing); Teacher’s College, Niagara University (Ontario Program)
Current Occupation: Teacher, Everest Academy
Local Minor Baseball Association: Uxbridge & Peterborough Minor Baseball
Levels played: Minor baseball/Winthrop University/Niagara University/San Francisco Giants organization/Team Canada
Position: Right-handed pitcher

Minor Baseball Coach that taught you a valuable lesson, what it is and how you use it today?

Too many coaches to even pick one, but I think watching Steve Terry, my coach in Peterborough, on and off the field, created such an impression with the players. He loved what he was doing and loved the sport. I think it helped confirm something that is generally common knowledge: If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, don’t do it.

Three life skills that baseball taught you and how you use today in your career:

Perseverance - I was never a highly touted prospect. I was always someone who had to work for everything that I earned in the game. Some people know from an early age that they want to become a teacher, but for me, it wasn’t something that I thought about doing until my playing career was over. Just like baseball, I needed to work (and still need to work) at refining and trying to perfect my craft.

Dedication - Very few people in baseball, or any sport, can find success at a high level by offering a fraction of their effort. In teaching, the same holds true. The more time and effort you can offer the students and the profession, the better teacher you become.

Dealing with Adversity - Oddly enough, all of the skills I learned through baseball centre around the fact that I wasn’t as gifted a player as many of my teammates. I wasn’t drafted, I started in independent ball, I was passed over for promotions numerous times, but I became a stronger person because of it. Even over the course of a single game, the plan is never executed without flaws. As a teacher, there is rarely a day that goes by according to plan. There is usually something thrown your way that needs to be dealt with. Students need mentors and role models, teaching partners need coverage, and projects need to be completed. Adapting each day is a skill in itself.

Your best day in baseball?

It’s tough to pick just one. Obviously, the Canada/U.S. game in the 2006 World Baseball Classic was pretty amazing, even though (Éric) Cyr let my 3 runs score on (Jason) Varitek’s laser beam! The most memorable day, though, may have been the last game I pitched in the 2009 World Cup against Cuba. It was a nothing game, but I knew it was my last one, and it culminated the next day when we won the bronze medal. Nine tournaments with Team Canada, and that was the first medal. Pretty bittersweet.