Baseball = Failure
As I look forward to Brewers Opening Day 2014 and my own upcoming baseball season, I am reminded that baseball is a huge game of failure. Great hitters hit a .300 average. Look at it this way, it means you FAIL 70% of the time. That’s a huge percentage. You are guaranteed to fail. If while at bat, you advance a runner and he gets into scoring position, but you get out, do you fail? Absolutely not. Your batting average will be lower, which may look bad on the surface. However, you are part of a team whose goal is to score runs. Let’s say the winning run is on third and you crush the ball to the outfield and the fielder makes an amazing play. You don’t fail because your goal is to hit the ball solidly and you succeeded. You tip your cap to the defender and try again. This unfortunately is a scenario that’s happened to me many times. Another scenario would be if there is a full count and bases are loaded in the last inning. You strike out. Yes, this is failing, but it’s part of the game. It happens to everyone. No matter how hard you try, the game of baseball will always win. So you will always face adversity, but it is how you respond to it that makes the difference between good players and great ball players!
Negative Thinking = Contagion
On my traveling baseball team, many of the kids get very upset after committing an error or not batting well. ( Parents, it doesn’t help if you’re screaming or putting pressure on your kid.) If this ever happens to me, I just try my best to be positive and to keep my head up as well as encourage teammates. Otherwise, this can cause you to play horribly because you are not in a good mental mood. If one person starts having a bad attitude, it spreads like a disease. Everyone starts getting upset and frustrated and the team starts to fade. The other team smells this frustration and takes advantage of it and then uses it against you. They will crush you to pieces. I’ve seen this happen to my team numerous times. Kids crying, helmets thrown, missed grounders, bad throws -it’s ugly. I’ve heard that scouts hope to see errors when looking at players. They want to see how a player handles mistakes mentally and how/if they can recover. My advice: Let it go! Don’t mix offense and defense. Leave the error on the field. Leave the strikeout in the batter’s box. Each player needs to find what works for them – so learn to forgive yourself and move forward!!! And “PLAY BALL!!”