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Well, my dad (Ken Griffey) taught me that there’s three parts. There’s hitting, there’s defense, and there’s baserunning. And as long as you keep those three separated, you’re going to be a good player. I mean, you can’t take your defense on the bases, you can’t take your hitting to the field, and you can’t take your baserunning at the plate. But defense, is number one.
Chess has definitely helped me understand a lot of the strategy of football. In chess, good offense is often an exercise in putting multiple points of pressure on one square. In football, offensive play design (particularly passes) involves putting multiple points of pressure on one player. In chess, you often give your opponent a move that looks strong for him, but it turns into a trap. Football is the same way. I’ve always thought of defense in football as being totally reactive. But now I understand the ways in which football defenses force the offense to make certain choices.