Last season I’m watching one of the grandkids play ball. My granddaughter plays softball and both of her little brothers play baseball. I can’t remember which kid was playing, but I noticed a few players who would approach the plate refusing to swing. By the time I’d see these players come up to bat the second time around, it was evident they were hoping they’d get a walk. Stand in the batter’s box, bat perched on their shoulder and the pitch didn’t matter. Low, high, or right down the middle. They weren’t going to swing.
The most quoted quote about such things has to be this one…
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky
At least in baseball and softball, you have the chance of being walked. 😉 No such luck in hockey!
I’ve long been fascinated – puzzled may be a better word for it – by kids who play sports, but are obviously afraid. Watching a 7-year-old step into the batter’s box fully committed to keeping that bat on his shoulder makes me wonder, “What is he afraid of?” Is he afraid of striking out? Is he afraid of looking foolish? Of being made fun of? Of hitting the ball badly?
It’s hard to know what a little kid is afraid of. It’s hard to know what somebody is fearful of because I struggle sometimes trying to identify my own fears!
For months we’ve been navigating our own version of a Little League batter’s box. We made up our mind we were not going to keep the bat on our shoulders though. But we’re not little kids. As two adult, mature (a synonym for old) people – a married couple – we didn’t step into the box until we knew we were ready. When it’s your time to hit, you’d best get on with it and give it a go.
Will we get a hit and get on base? Might we hit a double? A triple? Will we get a walk or strike out? Or…might we hit a home run?
The courage to take a swing is the courage to patiently wait for the pitch we most want to hit and give ourselves the opportunity for any degree of success. There are multiple ways to get on base. Success isn’t limited to just hitting the pitch over the fence in a homerun. That’s the very best outcome, but it’s not the only one. And if we strike out, it’s not final. We can regroup and get back into the box for another crack at success.
So we’re taking our swings…and I’m gonna share a bit of our batter’s story thus far.
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