The Milwaukee Brewers have a decisive game five in the National League Divisional Series later today. Fortunately for them, this game will happen right here in Milwaukee on their home field, Miller Park. This is fortunate because the Brewers have the best home field winning percentage of any team in baseball this year. Counting the playoffs, the Brewers are 59-24 at home, which means they have won seventy-one percent of their home games. Remarkable! While there are probably many factors that contribute to a home field advantage, clearly the support of forty thousand cheering fans gives the home team a tremendous boost. As the fans sing so clearly during the seventh inning stretch of each game, “we’ll root, root, root for the home team!” With this type of support twenty-six of the thirty teams in Major League Baseball this year had better records at home than on the road, showing clearly that rooting for the home team really does make a difference. This is a column about wellness though, not about baseball, so what does this home field advantage phenomenon have to do with personal and family wellness? Quite simply, what I think we can learn from this information is what a positive difference it makes when we have people rooting for us! Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and other professional athletes are not the only ones who benefit from the enthusiastic support of a home crowd! Fans at a ball game know what their role is and they do it with reckless abandon as you can see when watching any of the playoff games. They root, root, root for the home team. What if we could adopt this same role as friends, spouses, parents, families, colleagues and faith communities? Who better to root for one another than friends, families and congregations? Life can be challenging for all of us and so we certainly can all benefit from a strong home field advantage. Is there someone in your life that needs a little extra rooting for right now? Do you know someone who is going through a hard time, someone who is unemployed, or dealing with a loss or illness, or just a challenging time in their life? Why not do something to let them know you are rooting for them? Why not become their biggest fan and root for them so that they know that they are not alone in their struggles? I don’t know if the Brewers will win later today or not. Rooting for the home team does not guarantee a winning outcome. It will, however, inspire the best possible efforts by the team. That is why rooting for one another is so important, whether in baseball, or in life.

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