Life Lessons and Baseball…

Posted: June 30, 2012 in Father, Inspirational, Sports Stuff
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I am one of those lucky Dads who gets to go through Little League a second time because we have a young son that was born when I was a little older. I like Baseball and I like Little League. Baseball, like other sports, teaches kids lessons about life in a symbolic sort of way. It teaches them perseverance, to keep playing hard until the end of the game no matter whether they are winning or losing. It teaches them how to handle the adversity that challenges them throughout a game like when situations don’t go your way. But more importantly, it teaches them how to handle disappointment when a game slips away that you really wanted to win, like a championship tournament. Bottom line, the way kids are taught to learn to play the game of Baseball and to deal with the outcome of difficult games will be evidenced in their future lives by how they handle situations then…

But it all starts with a game…

As I mentioned before, I am going through Little League a second time with my second boy but because I am older now, my perspective on what is happening out there has changed. Don’t hear me wrong, I want to win every time we step onto that field but I’ve learned that I care more about what kids get out of the game along with the effort that they put into the game. Let me explain;

My goal, along with the other coaches, is to teach proper fundamentals of baseball; how to hit, how to throw, how to run bases, how to catch and then the best part, the situational aspect of baseball…In other words, What to do with the ball when it comes to you…The cerebral side of the game is the most fun for me because baseball is very much like a chess match between the two managers. Each one moving players to different positions and inserting players in order to put both the player and the team with the best chance for winning or make the most impact on the score…I understandI am explaining something you already know because that is the strategical side of baseball. Some people get this and some don’t care…

What’s different for me now is because I’m older, I care about the effect this game has on them. Simply speaking, like when good things happen during a game but i think more importantly, when bad things happen, like when the game gets out of hand… Because games produce adversity and losses are very hard to handle and if kids don’t learn how to “flush” a loss out of their head right away, they tend to drag it around like an anchor, always slowing them down and frankly, just making them sad.

I recently went though Little League’s, Tournament of Champions tournament for the minor division, ages 9-11 and I experienced the feeling of absolute euphoria as one of our boys hit a walk off grand slam to win the final championship game. Honestly, a once in a lifetime experience to come up to bat, down two runs with bases loaded and send one out of the park…incredibly amazing. Our team, along with the coaches, were able to experience the excitement of winning that game with everything on the line. This was truly..a win, or go home situation…but yet at the very same time, I began to put myself in the other dugout and wonder the magnitude of their feeling of loss. Needless to say, the post game handshake was filled with many tears as I went through telling each member of their team, “great job” I realized it was to no avail. They were inconsolable at that moment and as I watched their coach lead them to the outfield to have one more post game chat, I realized how critical his job was for those boys to help them deal with that loss. Honestly, they did everything right…they put themselves in a position to win but you can’t overcome home runs. It was checkmate.

So let’s bring this baseball game analogy to you and I…We have all played the games on the field our entire lives and now we are challenged with the game of life. Every single day we have ups and downs and as adults, we can’t let a business loss wreck our focus. I recently watched an attorney friend of mine lose a very difficult case in court, one that he prepared for, spent a great deal of time and money to win but he lost the judge’s decision…completely. Right now, my friend is a small ship floating alone in the big ocean. So far, he is unable to shake this defeat and move on…He can’t overcome the loss…

God never promised any of us that if we commit to Him there wouldn’t be any loss, pain or discomfort…but He did say there is rest and relief through Christ Jesus. In fact, Christ himself tells all of us in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

To me, this verse helps because I know I am NOT alone on days when I feel like those boys did above after losing that big tournament game. Can you imagine finding peace or just simple rest when you’ve had your worst day ever? And guys, the peace and rest I am referring to here isn’t like anything you have ever felt before…

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Heavenly peace is WAY better and more effective than anything we have here on earth. Granted, the Bible tells us we have to seek Him…which means we have to DO something…we can’t just sit on our hands and expect Him to just fix our problems, otherwise how can we learn?

So my challenge to you today is simple. Teach your children how to overcome game losses and then translate that to your own life. Don’t let adversity or failure stop you from reaching the goals God has for you! If you get bucked off…get up, dust yourself off and get back on…

Do me one more favor, hold on tight, because it’s going to be a WILD RIDE!!

Until next time guys…


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