You will inevitably feel horrible about some things. BUT, rest assured for everything that will make you feel down, there will be one thing- or indeed a coach (I know. What? The same coach who wants us to be perfect?) to pick you up. Trust me, not all coaches want to be Genghis Khan, some might even want to be your friend and coach at the same time.
One story that comes to mind for this is when I was in Colorado:
**Disclaimer: No, I don’t like to write about mess ups all of the time, I like to write about how I bounce back from them and I hope that whoever is reading will see where I am coming from and be inspired to enjoy the good in the game and know that it will come even when you can’t see it.
Prior to this painfully irritating game, I had not struck out for 5 games straight. Now, I know what you’re thinking… Dude! Sweet! I know. It was pretty sweet. I had gotten on base at least once or twice a game for- I repeat- 5. GAMES. You could say I was on fire. Then, it happened.
I was in the box for my first AB (at bat) and I had my heart absolutely set on continuing my streak as a hitter- not keeping my focus on making contact like my previous games. One could say that was my downfall. So- my usual long story short- I stuck out on four pitches and tapped the bat on the plate. What made it horrible was I tossed my bat in order to flip it into my hand like a pro player. Some of them flip the bat into their hand to shake it off and say, “you can’t get to me because I got swagg”. But I missed the bat and the it hit the dirt. Because I was so frazzled but tried to be so calm and full of swagg at the same time, it looked like I threw it out of anger. But of course, no one would have believed me if I tried to explain that, so I just took that on. It looked SO BAD. My saving grace was that the umpires called an illegal pitch and I was awarded 1st base. The fact that it looked like I pouted sucked, but of course there’s more. At this tournament, you couldn’t throw a pen without hitting a college coach. So, of course the first worry was did a college coach see that slight mishap? Thank Jesus the answer was no. But I didn’t find that out until later.
In the meantime of thinking I turned a college coach away from a really bad looking accident, I didn’t know what to think. I was just grateful my coaches didn’t bench me. Although I got on with walks for the rest of the game, I couldn’t enjoy it. I was too busy feeling bad about the coach that could have potentially turned away from not only me but my teammates because of me. By far one of the roughest games I’ve ever had, but I did well! It sounds hilarious, right? Well it’s funny until the bat “slam” is brought to your attention in front of the team, the coaches, and the parents. It’s a belittling experience I tell you.
After the team talk, I began what looked like my walk of shame to the gallows. But then someone ran up next to me. It was Coach Lindsey. She made an effort in trying to make me feel better about myself by giving me the “Shake it Off” speech. But then she took it one step further by just trying to make me smile. It was that act of kindness that made me see just how awesome my coaches are. Plus that was new to me because not one of my previous coaches would have said a word to me after the team meeting.
Ever since then, me and coach Lindsey always talk to each other before practice. I have yet to see a greeting that is better than mine. From that act of kindness, we have gone from player- coach to friend- friend. Practices are much less stressful now. Thanks Coach!