Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Caught Looking

Has life ever thrown you a curve ball?

You woke up one morning sitting dead red (looking for a fastball), as my old high school coach used to say. You had prepared yourself for it and were waiting on it. It didn't matter how fast life came, you were going to jump all over it. But somehow your balance got thrown completely out of kilter because you were looking for something else. 
Next thing you know, you are walking away shaking your head because the proverbial 
strike three came on a pitch you were not ready for.

Roy Oswalt vs Andre Ethier
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA 
I can remember (unfortunately on many occasions) walking back to the dugout, after not even taking the bat off my shoulder, as strike three crossed the plate. In baseball terminology, I had been 'caught looking. The pitcher had caught me guessing as to what pitch he was going to throw, and I had guessed wrong.
That is why I can hear my old coach, like a stuck record, saying it over and over again, "Think fastball, and then react to the curve ball."

This never completely got through my thick skull. But the few moments that it didI was never 'caught looking.' I might have went down swinging, but at least I wasn't caught doing nothing.

This brings me to a tweet I read this morning by the new (inspiring) hitting coach for 
MY Ole Miss Rebels - Cliff Godwin. He said, "You can't hit a homerun if you don't swing the bat!" You might think thats an elementary statement, but its filled with all kinds of goodness.

Without question, in order to hit one over a 400 foot fence, an individual has to make the bat meet the ball. But you don't just walk out onto a baseball field, point your bat in the direction you are planning to hit itand then proceed to hit one 450 feet. Much...muchMUCH preparation goes into the process.

Camden Yards
(Baltimore, MD)
As a hitter:
You learn what to look for.
You get into a rhythm at the plate.
You get on your toes.
You keep your eyes on the ball.
And then...you swing the bat.

The thing is...all great hitters don't want to leave the batters box. They want to hit...and hit...and hit some more. 
Coach Godwin's statement to me said, "If you really want to hit homeruns, you've got to get in the box now (in practice) before the (actual) game ever starts. It's the old adage about muscle memory. You must train your mind to react. Your eyes...your muscles...all coordinating together to accomplish the task at hand.

I'm no baseball coach, nor do I claim to be a life coach. I'm just an everyday man, husband, and father trying to survive in a world that is constantly throwing me curve balls. If I truly desire to bat clean-up in Gods plan - if I want to be the hero of my home - if I truly want the game of life to be on my shoulders...then I must climb in the 'box' every single day and keep swinging the bat. To every parent - every spouse - every friend...don't allow yourself to be caught unprepared. No matter the circumstance...just keep swinging. You never know when you just might 'connect.'

1 comment:

  1. -Don't get caught in the looking because we may miss the connecting. -- words for me to chew on today. Thanks!