3 Things I’ve Learned Watching Baseball

  1. You have to look around.

It’s easy to get tunnel-vision at the ballpark. We get stuck in the rut of following the ball because we think the important things happen where the ball is. That’s where you see the best strikeouts, hits, and defensive plays. Besides, who is going to argue with the umpire’s strike zone if we aren’t watching the ball?! Heaven forbid he do his job without our input.

But have you ever looked around a baseball field? It’s beautiful. There’s a certain cadence to it. Watch the right fielder before the pitcher delivers the pitch. Or the third baseman. When there are runners on base, watch them as they learn to time the pitcher and find the perfect instant to burst into a full sprint. Watch the catcher and only the catcher for an entire at-bat. Watch the coach give signs like the conductor of an orchestra. Watching only the ball is the equivalent of listening to only a solo instrument in a complex classical composition.

It’s easy to get that same tunnel-vision in our lives. We look at what’s right in front of us, and we miss the rest. How much are we missing each day?

  1. Everyone loses sometimes.

Baseball teams play so many games that none get to go undefeated. This is especially true at the MLB level, and usually also true at the college level. Even those teams that get a lossless season? They lose again eventually. Winning streaks end, and upsets strike hard when the worst teams find ways to beat the best teams.

From baseball I’ve learned that no one is perfect and no one can be perfect. I’ve learned to accept losing. I’ve learned that losing does not make you a loser. It makes you stronger. This is an especially difficult lesson for a coach’s wife because, of course, my husband is happier when his team wins, and I prefer when my husband is happy.

But you learn to learn from your losses. To find ways to improve. You develop tenacity.

  1. Fighting for something is more effective than fighting against something.

Do you know what the best teams I’ve seen all have in common? It’s not just talent. The best teams fight for each other. They stand by their teammates, pick each other up when they’re down, and trust each other. For these teams, it isn’t about the opponent. In fact, it really does not matter who their opponent is on any given day. The reason they fight and their approach to the battle doesn’t change.

In the same way, people all over the world fight for causes they believe in. They stand up for justice and truth. In their fight for something, they can measure positive progress. Those who fight against something can only measure their progress through “wins,” but as I’ve already mentioned, everyone loses sometimes. Those who fight for something can withstand trials because of the cause they believe in. It’s for love and passion. These are much stronger than hatred.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Can Be Taught!.”

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