You look at the title of this article and holler “What are you talking about?!?” When someone says “Every failing moment is a lesson in disguise” you don’t want to smile, you want to punch something.
The pressure’s on, this catch is going to make or break the inning, you drop it, and you want to crawl under something and cry through your eyeballs until they roll out of your head. But you can’t do that, remember Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own” yelling “There’s no crying in baseball!!!” (If you haven’t see that movie, you really should.)
Mistakes suck, they aren’t fun, they fill you with self-loathing and you would think there are no redeeming qualities about them whatsoever… except you are wrong.
Good advice is always annoying because it is true.
Here is the truth of mistakes you will make in baseball, and in life.
You Are Not the Strike
You are not the grounder you missed, you are not the fence you crashed into when you tried to catch the ball, you are not your mistakes. Maybe that hit was lousy, but guess what? There will be another hit after that, and it’s shiny and new and fresh. You have the power to shape your next moment, so don’t let those past flubs tarnish what has the potential to be really great.
No Mistakes Means No Success
Any professional in any walk of life will tell you that, while failure is not fun, it’s one of the best teachers there is. Do you think that EVERY ball Jackie Robinson ever hit was perfect? Do you think Jeter just fell out of diapers and into perfect playing as soon as he could walk? These guys had to fail plenty of times to become expert ball players. They built a life of building their form and timing and style and all of the subtle nuances that made them legendary. You have to make mistakes to make anything worthwhile.
A bad game does not equal a bad life. You might want to mope and hide under your ball cap and not look at your fellow players for fear of seeing disappointment in their eyes, disappointment that you caused. But you have to get back to the dugout, everyone does. There is still more game to play, and even though it seems like the end of the world, it really isn’t. We’re not saying you should stuff your emotions, but we are recommending that you try to stay focused on the fact that no matter how bad it is… you get to play baseball.
Do Your Best
If you pull a muscle (knock on wood) you can’t stop it from happening, but you can make the choice whether to be a total sourpuss about it, or try to focus on healing so you will play again. You can’t run for first base if you don’t believe you can do it, that’s just how the mind works. Have some time to feel really crappy about the unfortunate event, feel bad, feel mad, etc. But then understand that positive thinking bolsters positive results. Come on, you’ve seen inspirational sports movies, do you want to root for the player that has no spirit after a setback, or do you want to see that player work hard and beat the odds?
Baseball is a catalog of blunders. When all else fails, remember that pro players in baseball have a failure rate of seventy to seventy-five percent! What other game welcomes a C average?!?