You might not know what you want from baseball, but I do. I’ve been around long enough to know what you’re looking for…
Players: You Want That Look
Your team is in a jam – the tying run is on third, the winning run is on second, and you have just one measly out.
The starting pitcher is out of gas, and everyone is nervous, tense, with that pit in their stomachs. They look to you with a slight upward glance. They don’t think about who to look at, they just know – it’s YOU. You’re the one they need in the game.
Sure enough, coach calls your name, and you’re jogging off to the mound to save the day.
It’s an amazing privilege to feel this way, and few ever get to feel it.
I’ll tell you – it’s humbling, empowering, and intoxicating. I wanted to be that guy my whole life, and in two different seasons, I was. That feeling was one of the major reasons I played the game, the reason I worked so hard for so many years.
That look, that non-verbal yearning to save the team, and save the day – that’s why you play. But, how do you become that player?
You have to perform under pressure, and it’s no easy task. You need experience, talent, savvy, and a mentor, someone who can help you foster that attitude, that inner-strength, that baseball acumen, and those leadership qualities.
Parents: You Want To Watch Your Son Do What He Loves
“I knew it was your last game, I just knew.”
After closing a game, I walked over to greet my parents, who came to the railing just on the home plate side of the first base dugout. We chatted like we always did, and I filled them in on my week, my arm (which was in bad shape) and my plans for the off-day that awaited at the end of a 6-hour busride.
I didn’t know it was my last game, but my Mom did.
Six months later, as I struggled to come to terms with an arm that could no longer do what it had done for 22 years. I was exhausted from pitching through pain, and finally enough was enough – I let go. My parents responded like I knew they would.
“We were just so happy to be able to keep watching you pitch. We got to see an awful lot of baseball, and it never got old. We just loved seeing you happy, doing what you loved.”
Parents spend thousands of dollars every year in my facility doing exactly this – helping to nurture their kids along, helping them get more joy out of the game they love.
Any investment that helps extend their career is a good one – the career of an athlete is short, and everyone has a ticking clock. You want to arm your children with every resource you can to get them to the next checkpoint, and add more time to that clock. It’s not about gathering trophies or being able to brag about how good they’ve become.
Rather, it’s just about giving them the opportunity to do something they’re passionate about, and hopefully succeed at it.
I was lucky to get so many great years, and in turn it give my parents the same gift. I was always doing it for me, but in the end, I was giving back to us.
Coaches: You Want to See The Lightbulb Go Off
14 lessons in a day? I’ve done it, and my partner and hitting genius, Lucas, has done it.
Six games in a weekend? I’m sure dozens reading this have coached in those long, swelteringly hot summer tournaments. Why do we do it? Why do you do it?
You’re Searching For…
You’ve been imploring your soft-throwing middle reliever to throw his changeup more, but he’s just too afraid of the pitch. No matter how much you support him, he just doesn’t trust it. Because he doesn’t trust it, he doesn’t throw it. And because he doesn’t throw it, he doesn’t trust it.
But, he’s in a jam in a big situation – the bases loaded with a two-run lead and two outs. A big left-handed hitter is up, and he’s hit two vicious line drives just foul of the first base line. If only he trusted his changeup, you sigh.
Then, you see him shake off his catcher, then shake again, then again. What is he throwing?
The big lefty almost throws the bat as he whiffs on the best changeup the kid has ever thrown. With an ear-to-ear grin, your left-hander jogs off the mound.
Those A-Ha! moments are amazing, and they’re what you get when you take the time to encourage, teach, and coach kids up.
You explain the game over and over hoping that finally, one day your lesson will sink in, they’ll act, they’ll execute, and they’ll get that big smile.
And sometimes, to get those lessons to sink in, we need to hear a new voice and come with a new way of presenting the information. You keep throwing the information out there in different forms, until something sticks and results in the A-Ha! moment. It’s a great thing.
No matter what angle you’re viewing the game from, it’s a great game with a lot to offer.