When is the last time you went to a T-Ball game? I went to one this week, it had been close to thirty years since the last one I went to. My wife and I often spend time with a young navy family from our church with children that are close in age to some of our grandchildren; it was fun going to the game. Some kids were paying attention most of the time, some not as much. One little boy was more interested in trying to pick the artificial turf than watching the ball.
In the first inning when our team was on the field, the batter hit a ball that rolled past the pitcher’s mound almost to second base, as the “pitcher” ran and picked it up I yelled, “throw to second base.” One of the fathers at the game explained that everyone bats every inning, everyone gets on base, and most importantly everyone is taught to throw the ball to first base every time, even if second base is closer. When I asked why, he said it was to teach them to build a foundation before they had to start making choices. Well duh, it is the same technique I use when I want to learn something. I want to build a foundation before I can get better.
Each player moves to different positions each inning also, this way they have more chance to get the ball; let’s face it not many balls get to the outfield when the batters are 3 feet tall. The coach’s goal is to help the kids build a foundation of swinging, fielding, and throwing. Muscle memory is learned at this age, next season they will start learning to make more decisions.
In the picture that accompanies this post, you can see one of the little boys is practicing how to field a ground ball. It is a very conscious thought now but with more and more practice it will become second nature. A pro player doesn’t have to think about most of what he does. When he throws the ball, his body does what is has been trained to do, he no longer has to think about planting his foot or the mechanics of the throw, so what does this have to do with you?
Every one of us can improve in some area of our lives, here are a few tips to help you succeed.
- Keep your eye on the ball. Focus is a word the coaches use a lot, no matter what the child is doing.
– Know what you want to accomplish and focus on the goal.
- Think about what you need to do before you need to do it, that way when something occurs you are ready.
– When a situation arises or a challenge occurs you don’t always have time to think about what to do, train yourself in practice so you can win the game.
- Listen to your coaches. Too many times people try to do it on their own, get help from someone that is successful at what you want to do. I have several coaches at any given time depending on what area of my life I am working on.
– If you don’t believe me, think about what the second richest man in the world said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” ~ Warren Buffet
Think about an area you want to improve, in some case maybe a solid foundation was never built, what you can learn from little people who are about the height of your belt buckle?