Chapter 10: Why be a pitcher?
The incentive to pitch starts as a chance to lead a team, become well known, seek a scholarship, maybe turn professional and excel at a physical level others are not trained to do. Notice, these are all “It’s all about me” reasons? Are these kinds of rewards worth the many hours spent in training, set backs, injuries and missed social occasions? For some, yes. Are you one of these few that find the trouble is worth it? The only way to ever know is to try. But you must remember that few people are capable of becoming great pitchers and you may not be one of them. That is OK, we can’t all be stars and heroes. If pitching isn’t for you, there will be something else that is! Just keep checking your satisfaction level and accomplishments. If they aren’t still an incentive to keep going, stop and find something that is.
What we want to point out here is there are many other incentives that aren’t obvious to a beginning pitcher. Here are a few:
1) Life experiences
A) The best athletes don’t always get chosen
B) The best athletes don’t always win
C) Sometimes life isn’t fair
D) Your best effort may not be always good enough to win
E) Being very good at something can produce enemies as well as friends
F) You may be a special athlete but you are not better than those that aren’t
G) You can get along with anyone or argue with anyone, the choice is yours
H) Everyone is not “On your Team”
I) It does take a team to win
J) Umpires can be wrong but don’t expect them to admit it
K) It really is ONLY a game
L) Sometimes the less deserving get more of the credit than they should
M) Anger extinguishes the lamp of the mind and decrease your ability to perform
N) Relaxation is as important as training
O) Sometimes a coach can be wrong
P) Sometimes a coach can be right
Q) Decisions you don’t agree with may be right after all
You can say that, yes, this maybe is true BUT I don’t want my child to learn these too early in life. If your child is 8 years old they already have experienced most of these points through school, video games and TV. The extra dimension pitching gives them is that they can see the results of these truths play out on the field through a season. They will see that sometimes things can move in their favor rather than against them. Ultimately they will see that most things levels out in life.
2) Personal understandings
A) Practice really does pay off
B) You get out of something only what you put into it
C) A commitment to yourself should never be broken
D) Set backs can bring you and your family and friends closer
E) Knowing and enjoying when you have reached a milestone, goal or life accomplishment
F) You can be better than you ever expected
G) A commitment to pitching prepares you for the several life time commitments you will have to consider
3) A Part of a Bigger Picture Youth sports offer opportunities that are few and far between for many kids. I can think of MANY individuals that have used softball to turn their lives around. When you see a 16 year old pitcher that has a 8 month old baby in the dug out you are looking at what could be a hardship for this young athlete BUT it is also someone at a young age, trying to do the best they can rather than just giving up! There are, at least, two nationally known very good division one softball coaches who have boot strapped themselves out of dependency on drugs through softball. How many kids are not in gangs because of sports? How many inner city kids get in to college, how many can fit into the military because of sports training? And how many excel well enough to become role models to their younger neighbors? And then the cycle repeats itself. Pitchers are often stars. It is these stars that make the game attractive to the young athlete. It is these stars that lead the kids of today into a land of opportunity and away from negative influences.
Of all the parts of this blog this section is the most significant and has been my greatest pleasure to write. Thank you Brooke for showing me this through your career
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