Although it’s more than halfway through the month, I still wanted to reach out to our clients and give you some food for thought. Most of our high school players have started playing games with their respective teams, and so begins the toll on players’ arms, mental mindset, and attempts to learn humility and failure.
Baseball is a game of failure since you can be at bat 10 times, strike out in 7 of those plate appearances, and still be considered a productive hitter because your batting average says .300! Pitchers can throw strikes in 6 out of every 10 pitches, and pitching strikes at a 60% rate is pretty good.
But learning how to handle failure and the subsequent humility and grow from it is a very tough assignment for young players. No one wants to feel like a failure, but keeping a smile on your face in the presence of defeat will only make you a better player in the game of baseball as well as the game of life.
This past weekend was, in all likelihood, the worse weekend of sports for me ever. Literally, every sports team I cheer for — every fantasy and survivor league I’m a part of — ended up losing. I’ve had to endure a lot of texts (from Dodger haters), I watched my beloved USC football game lose by a point, my Dallas Cowboys suffered a tough loss, I was defeated in my survivor league because a team I chose (who was favored by 10 points) played their worse game in probably 6 years, and my fantasy football team lost by one measly point. I’ve had the worst 48 hours watching my all-time favorite teams absolutely take it on the chin. My oldest son didn’t want to talk about the Dodgers losing and wondered why I wasn’t more devastated like he was.
My only real answer is that in sports and life there will always be failures. Those things happen to be out of your control and are not for you to take personally. Failure in the game of life will change your perspective when other areas fail as well.
From the age of 22 to about 35, there was a lot of failure and heartbreak for me with being divorced, a single dad of two boys, in a business where being laid off from work was the status quo (I wish I’d known this before I got a job in video post-production, but lessons learned), and having relationships that went south — to meeting my best friend and wife, where we were apart for a couple of years before I grew up and knew she needed to be in my life every single day. You become very humble when you experience this amount of failure. But, you always come out the other side with the maturity and self-confidence that makes you more of a winner than anything else.
For our developing baseball players, it’s important to experience the ups and downs of this game of baseball. Learning these experiences now will only help you become a better person later in life — if you choose to do something productive with it in life and not wallow in pity and sorrow. There is always another day of life, another day of baseball, and another day to improve in all areas of your training development so that you become the person you want to become.
Failure allows us to improve in areas we just may not have known about. Failure allows us to develop a better sense of self. Failure tells us that things do only get better.
Following this weekend of sports armageddon, I’ve learned that life doesn’t stop, so enjoy the moment if you can, and know that better days are coming — they just are!
Until next time . . .
P.S. Our classes are busy, but it’s never too late to get started on a path that helps arms develop strength and velocity but, more importantly, health and recovery. Call me today to get started on your path to greatness!!