My space is baseball, my heart is baseball. My identity is baseball.
All we can do as humans is to find our tribe, our family, our sub culture within an existing community. The spirit of competition is alive and well in the game of baseball, as it is (or at least should be) in life.
But we live in a culture where people believe in the ‘participation award’. We are raising a generation of weak individuals because we won’t let them fail.
We won’t let them feel loss or the pain of knowing you lost because you weren’t good enough. This does not build a strong will to succeed. Strong will to succeed requires effort and real motivation, not success given to them without effort and motivation.
In today’s society so much is based on numbers, so the numbers I use when describing the long-range prospects of any youth baseball player go like this … For the five million children playing baseball in the United States, 400,000 will play ball in high school. Of those 400,000, around 1,500 will be drafted by a professional baseball team. From those 1,500 or so, 500 will play two seasons or less in the minor leagues. Of the 500 in the minors, 100 will reach the Major League level, with one making it to Cooperstown, N.Y. and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”
– 2005 Little League Baseball World Series Program
Those issues used to be what drove us to work harder and fight to become the best. It gave a baseline of what you needed to do to become the best in your space.
And somewhere throughout the years we have guarded our children from a major necessity of life and that is to build resiliency in them, in our culture. Every day is a new opportunity.
You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.
Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”- Babe Ruth
We need our kids to lose and lose often, to identify why they lost and where they need work and fight to get better. Whatever sport they choose. But they need to lose! You can’t build resiliency with a life of no failures.
Their spirit needs to feel crushed and then us as parents, put the pieces back together for them to get crushed again. Sounds harsh, but in reality they are building the hard scars they will need to get through LIFE!
Real life issues like death, heartbreak, transition, separation… the list goes on and on. We need to protect our kids’ future by letting them lose!
So, for all of you veterans and soon-to-be veterans out there, treat life like a game of baseball. You win some, you lose some, but the love of the game keeps you coming back time and again.
And if you strike out on life, at least go down swinging. Don’t take your bat and go home, we need you on our team.
Love and respect,
Special thanks to Heroes Sports Baseball team for giving me the opportunity to stand on that mound again to find myself….
Empowering service members and veterans through sports, recreation and team building.
FB: Heroes Sports