When Does the Baseball or Softball Game Begin
We talked about when an at bat begins, but when does a game begin? Do we prepare before they throw the first pitch?
I think it’s the same concept of going into something and doing something coming out of it. For a young athlete generally it’s going to school before a game. You got to go through school and then baseball. The whole checking in process of getting yourself from school, down to the baseball area, changing clothes. The changing of school clothes to baseball gear and making that switch and going to the field and then at a certain point putting on the spikes and walking through the gate of the field. I like the symbol of putting on the spikes and walking through the gate in terms of ‘what is my mission today? What is my goal? What one thing I’m working on today? Offensively? Defensively?’ So there is a little bit of a purpose in what we are doing.
For a lot of kids it’s just about being with the team, being with the guys. But if you’re going to take it to the next level you have to be on a mission. You’ve got to be getting better. Because when you take the spikes off you need to ask yourself what did I learn today? What did I do well? What did I do with my goals? What do I have to be better at? That goes for when I go to the cage or what am I working on? Because when I’m around athletes. What I ask a lot is, “What are you working on? I’m not talking about ‘I’m working hard and I’m going to smash the ball’. I’m talking about, “what are you working on?” Hands? Stride? Staying back? Part of that is what you retain. So, there is a clicking in process from school to baseball. Baseball back home. Homework. Taking care of family responsibilities. Go out there and do those particular things. Parents know that this is an important life skill because we, as parents, we have work and we need to come home and be the father, mother, or parents.
So we have the changing of the clothes, shifting the gears.
We see it as a life skill and we will be a non-baseball player much longer than will be a ballplayer. It’s a transition.
Another thing that goes with this is you are also not leaving until you are done. You need to finish the thing. You need to bring it to the end. To conclusion. In baseball it happens so much.
The pitcher gets 2 quick outs and thinks he’s done and then ½ hour later he’s still out there.
Or the hitter that has an 0-2 count. I tell pitchers’you’re ahead of him sure, but then start taking him for granted and you lose him’. One thing about baseball is that you got to respect the moments. If not, the game will whack you in the side of the head.