Someone You May Not Recognize

You’ve Given it all You Could.

This is going to come as no comfort to you, after giving it all
you could, only to left out – literally left out, from what you
wanted, playing this game. To you, it was more than that just
playing. It was the acceptance. It was the recognition of doing
what you could do best. It was knowing that you could do just
as good a job as anyone else – even better than most. But here
you are.

In amateur baseball the prevailing winds of attitude and acceptance
are deep waters to negotiate. The same things that prevail on the
school grounds, basketball courts, and even in the lunch rooms are
evidence of the uphill challenges that waited for you on the ball diamond.
And if dealing with the youngsters your own age and maybe a little older
Weren’t enough – the egos and self-righteousness of the adults that
Control the entire experience just adds salt to the open wound. No
comfort zones, take it or leave it, stuff stinks … and it stinks a lot.
Now here comes the part that you’ll have to really think about. Really
think hard.

You did it, regardless. You strapped on your gear, sat on the bench,
Watched others like it seemed an eternity, and walked off the field for
last time this season, shaking your head … like was this really worth it.

You showed heart and guts to tolerate this. You went for as long as you
could and had many a talks with yourself. No one really understood what
you were dealing with – but you dealt with it. Being alone like that really
hurts, it grinds at you inside and you seldom hear words of encouragement
that really gets to the heart of how you feel.

I know this will sound hollow – but you’ll be stronger, tougher, quicker to
see the injustice of other things because of who you are and what you went
through this season.

Take the time to jot down your notes somewhere of the disappointments what you went through this season – all of it. Then jot down next to that, how you handled it. By the way – busting your backside to improve in places that won’t recognize your improvements, does nothing to make you feel better, so leave that part out of your notes.

I guarantee, as you look back, next season and the season after that, you’ll witness a mature, self-confident person coming of age. Someone you might not recognize.

This is amazing. I might use this for future coaching.

Over the years, I’ve taken a break from the pace of things to watch a youth game - ages 12 to 15 usually.

The number of youngsters that just sat, got token attention, rarely saw an opportunity of daylight were more than I could count. I usually covered the same area, year after year, and observed the same faces sometimes - year after year. These youngsters tried, I mean really tried to do whatever it took to get accepted, noticed, part of the popular “in” crowd, but came up short more times than not.

I wanted to do something, anything, to let these youngsters know that someone - anyone, other than their family, acknowledged their attendance. These youngsters had guts. I mean these youngsters had the toughness to stick it out. Many just wanted to be part of something, while others were on the bench simply because someone drove them to the park.

This article that I posted just came out of nowhere. It probably rambled on, stumbled along - but there it is.

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it more than you know.

It speaks to me personally on many levels. For many many years, I was always a bench guy. As one of my high school coaches put it, “You were good at every position. But there was always someone better who was ahead of you”. I’ve dealt with the politics, and all the negative. But I never gave up. I found a position where I was the best player (pitching), and I worked hard and made it to playing college baseball. A place many people have said I would never get to. I stuck it out, did my time on the bench, and then finally my senior year in high school I broke out and was the best pitcher on the team, and was being recruited by several colleges. And you know what, as the article says, as I look back on my baseball career I’ve become just that. Someone I don’t recognize.