A Pitching Lesson from Mighty Hercules

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They say baseball is a game of failure…

And tough to argue with that. There’s a great expression in baseball cirlces:

“There’s two kinds of ballplayers: Those who have been humbled by the game… and those who are about to be.”

Yep, ‘taint all cupcakes and rainbows… But is that such a bad thing?

Here’s a little ditty I came across the other day from a fella by the name of Epictetus (one of the good ol’ stoics who lived about 2,000 years ago):

 

“What do you think would have become of Hercules if there had been no Lion, Hydra, Stag, or Boar…

And no savage criminals to rid the world of?

What would he have done in the absence of such challenges?

Obviously he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep.

So by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into The Mighty Hercules.

And even if he had… what good would it have done him?

What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul…

Without crises or conditions to stir him into action?”

– Epictetus

 

In baseball and life, you’re gonna have obstacles. There’s no avoiding it.

But what if we choose to see them as a gift?

They force us to grow… they create opportunities, allow us to RISE to the occasion.

Here’s something I hear parents say a lot about their kids:

“I just want them to be happy and healthy.”

(And as a parent of two little ones, I certainly echo that!)

But sometimes that can lead to getting over-protective… we don’t want them to get hurt!

But does “happiness” come from avoiding failure?

Or is there something to be gained by putting yourself out there… RISKING something, pouring your heart into a worthy pursuit.

I think so.

Sure, you might fail…

On the flip side, you could play it “safe”.

Sit it out, hide in the corner.

And you won’t get hurt…

But you also won’t GROW.

And you sure as heck won’t be “happy”…

I heard it once said:

“Happiness is making progress towards a meaningful goal.”

I agree.

Becoming the best pitcher you can be takes courage.

Yup, you bet.

You might not be fighting Lions and Boars… But you’re putting yourself out there, all eyes on you.

In that sense, it’s “risky.”

But if you pour your heart into it, and face the challenges that come your way, there’s nothing more rewarding (aside from maybe being a parent and coach – my humble opinion).

Embrace the process… How good can you be?

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Keep Learning.

Keep Growing.

Get Better.

Phil

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