We finally finished my son’s Fall season of baseball this last week. It started to feel like it would stretch out forever. It was most definitely an interesting one. His team moved up in age and rank this season and played much better and more seasoned teams. A decision his coach would come to question. See, they didn’t win one game all season. They tied a team once, but there are no “W’s” in our standings.
We are a new team, only being together for two seasons now. In fact, those two seasons are the only two that my son has ever played. He has come a long way in that short time as a ball player, but still has so much to master as well. His biggest hurdle to conquer is still the “stage fright” that comes over him as he swings the bat. He can hit balls all day long in the batting cages and at practice, but freezes up when at the plate during a game. I don’t know how to help him with it other than try to explain to him how to quieten his mind and swing the bat. He just needs to zone out and watch the ball. That will only come with experience and confidence. I know every time he hits a ball in a game, he is one step closer to overcoming that fear.
I mentioned earlier that our coach second guessed himself on moving up in rank because of our record. Even though my son didn’t win a game all season, he is still a better ball player now then when he ran out on the field for the first game.
There are lessons to be learned in losing.
I think these are lessons that kids today don’t have much experience with. Today, everyone gets a trophy so that feelings aren’t hurt. Score isn’t even kept at games. We don’t want our children to feel uncomfortable, so we shield them from all of that. But what they are missing is important too.
I want my children to know that nothing worth having in life will come easy. It won’t be handed to them. They have to fight for it. They have to put “blood, sweat and tears” into it. They aren’t guaranteed or entitled to anything. I want them to find that drive deep down inside of themselves that helps them push forward when times get tough.
Losing isn’t fun. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. It might make us mad at ourselves. It points out our flaws and shortcomings. It also shows us where we need work and where to focus our attention to get better.
Only in experiencing a loss, can we truly appreciate what it means to win.