Having spent the better part of the last two months watching Little League Baseball Games, I've come to realize that much of the coaching on the field, translates very well into real, regular life.
See what you think:
1. "Baseball Ready!" This is shouted before the game begins, before each inning begins. It's the coaches' way of getting the boys' attention...calling attention to the fact that they need to be ready, be focused, be prepared. I would love to be in the classroom to say "Test Ready!" before spelling on Fridays. Surely, it would be helpful to hear "Life Ready!" as you head out the door in the morning. Be prepared for what comes at you. Handle it, calmly and confidently.
2. "Know Where the Next Play Is!" Grammatically incorrect, yes. Good Advice, definitely. How great would it be if you were always thinking two or three steps ahead? How much would you love to be able to take a moment, scan your current situation, decide what you'll do in several what-ifs, set yourself and then restart life? Awesome.
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3. "Load Up!" Wise coaching advice when batting. Wise human advice when preparing for anything. Load Up on multiplication tables practice. Load Up on dance routine practice. Load Up on groceries when heading into a weekend full of busy running around. In other words, arm yourself! Give yourself all the help you can gather. Go into the situation with an advantage, rather than just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
4. "Run Hard!" Coaches yell this, especially when the kids are headed to First Base. No matter how lightly the ball is hit, it's in play. The kid is in the game. There is a chance that he will beat out the throw, but only if he runs hard. Not if he gives up. Not if he does not try. Not if he assumes the other players are more talented. I'd tell my kids to "Run Hard" as often as possible. Dare to try. Give it your all, even if you might not make it to that figurative First Base. There is victory and pride in trying. Sign up for the Spelling Bee. Audition for the part in the play. Call the new friend that seems interesting. Do it.
5. "Good Game." No matter the outcome or how close or far away the scores of the two teams, they meet on the field to slap hands and say "Good Game." Some boys really mean it. Some teams really don't feel like saying it. But, it always happens....for the big boy-Dad coaches, too. Perhaps my favorite life-lesson is found, here. Remember, after any conflict, there should be resolution. Agreement to move ahead. Keeping score matters, but so does keeping friends. Winners and losers are the same, at the snack bar after the game. So too are people, after a vote, a tough decision or a heated discussion. I like the image of acknowledging the "Good Game" and moving on. Maybe I'll try it, after my next Board Meeting.
So, there you have it. Baseball quotes, to life lessons.
In our family, we'll take the translation to heart.