Baseball is a metaphor for life. It’s hard, we often fail, and it takes years and a lot of practice to be proficient–but when it works it’s worth the heartache and hard work. Pitcher Al Leiter was awful at first, but when a coach told him he had to focus on the pitch he was about to throw and not the last one that was hit for a home run–or the one he would have to throw three hitters from now–he started having success.
Padre catcher Nick Hundley’s career was on an upward trajectory until last year when the wheels came off and he hit a meager .157. (If you follow baseball, that’s not just bad, it’s abysmal.) This is a new year and he has a new approach. Instead of allowing a bad at bat to cause him to have three more, he is now taking it one pitch at a time. (I know this is an old baseball cliche’, because it’s true.) “You don’t see the head dropping, or the shoulders slouching anymore,” a teammate said of Hundley.
We can learn a lot about life from baseball, especially if things aren’t going our way. Sometimes in baseball you, “Hit the ball on the button” and still get out. Other times you flair a soft pop up to right field that drops in for a hit. In the end it all averages out–you just can’t get too high when things go well, or too low when they don’t. This is what Nick Hundley has done to bounce back from a b-a-d season and what we can learn from his approach.
• He doesn’t allow negative thinking to enter his mind. (I know, this is easier said than done. If you have to find positive messages and make them your screen saver or put Post-it Notes on all your mirrors to stay positive, do it.)
• If Nick did his best but he didn’t get the results, he doesn’t get down on himself, he just continues to keep “grinding” ( a baseball term for doing the work it takes to get better.) If we let go of the outcome for the things we are worried about and just do the work, we are less likely to procrastinate.
• “I Don’t look too far ahead or too far behind,” Hundley said. Don’t let past failures detract from future success. I also believe we all have to have hope that even if things aren’t going our way now, we believe they are about to take a turn for the better.