Saturday, June 15, 2013

Baseball is Life

At times in my life, I hated baseball.  For some who know me, that may come as a shock since I played through college and have coached it at the high school and middle school level for the past 20 years.  By the time I was a senior in high school, I began to get burned out from playing so much, that when I broke my ankle the week before the first week of college workouts, I was relieved.

My only regret now is that I ever hated it at all.

Baseball has taught me so much about life...such as

Baseball is a thinking man's game.  So many people think baseball is boring because there is no action. Much of baseball is taking place in each players' head in between pitches.  The pitcher, catcher, and batter are thinking about the next pitch, what pitch, and what location.  The runners on base are thinking about what to do on the pitch, after the pitch, if the ball is hit and where, etc.  The fielders are thinking about what to do with the ball based on where it is hit and how hard, where they should play, should they shift left or right, up or back.

If these thoughts aren't happening in a baseball player's head in between pitches, they aren't playing baseball.

A  teammate asked me at the end of my baseball career how many errors I made playing outfield in my college tenure.  I replied, "Three".  He then asked me how many I made because I was daydreaming between pitches.  I said, "Three".

Life is like that.  If all we did was action and reaction without thought, where would we be.  Life is about considering rewards and consequences for actions, assessing risks, preparing for variables, etc.  If we aren't ready, or just seeking to react rather than prepare, we are more likely to make errors.

Baseball is like a poker game.  What card should you play?  Should you take the extra base, what are the odds you'll be safe?  Should you keep the runner from taking second on a hit or try to gun the guy out at home.

We do that all the time.  High risks often come with high rewards, but we can't be foolish either and always take the high risk.  Sometimes it is worth it to play conservatively.

There are times to take the risk and try to nail the guy at the plate and there are times you need to let him score and keep the guy off of second to prevent a big inning from happening for the opposing team.  Life is about assessing the situation and taking the appropriate action.

I love baseball.  Coaching and playing, but I'd rather be playing.

I love life.  Teaching about it and living it, but I rather be living it.

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