One of the things I love about having a blog is how everyday life experiences often motivate me to write certain blog articles. This is yet another one of those examples.
This year I decided to step up and manage my older son’s little league team. It’s a big commitment, but I’ve always intended on stepping up to do so as I love the game, my son, and cherish the opportunity to coach my son and manage a little league team. It was a bit last minute, so I scrambled to prepare myself, handling a variety of tryouts and a draft last night. I did the best I could, but it was definitely a challenge to truly know what kids you were getting based very little data and knowledge.
While I’m not privy to all of little league politics (and trust me there are a lot), I’m not naive enough to know they don’t exist. They do. But my philosophy in life with those sorts of things is to just do the best you can with what you get. Work hard, treat people respectfully, and despite all that BS, good things will eventually happen.
Their were quite a few parents that were unhappy with the fact that their sons didn’t make certain levels, and turned to Facebook to share their disdain in a variety of ways. A few of the ones that stood out to me were along the lines of parents either feeling like their son’s baseball careers were over, or the actual kids not wanting to play anymore. For me that was the most disappointing thing to see. As a lifetime ballplayer, I had my fair share of disappointments and cuts, but I still stuck to the game because I loved to play. I would just hate to see kids or parents give up over one disappointment.
It got me thinking about the idea of fight vs. flight as it pertains to life. Not in the context of an actual violent situation, but in how we deal with life when we don’t get what we want. I believe that true winners in life are the ones that take the losses and disappointments in life as a challenge and motivation moving forward. There’s nothing wrong with being angry or sad with not getting what you want (or even what you think you deserve), but there’s no tact in airing your grievances disrespectfully in an open forum, nor is it productive.
I remember my first year of baseball that my mom worked so hard to let me have. I made the all star team as an alternate, and throughout the game sat on the bench. I was happy to have made the team, but I was only 11 and I certainly was hoping to get a chance to at least play a little. It wasn’t happening. My wonderful mother, got up from the stands and respectfully approached the coach and long story short, I got to play the last inning and get an at bat (a hit by the way). My mother fought for me, and I’ve never forgotten that moment. It’s probably a big reason why I am the way I am today.
I’ve learned the hard way that true success comes when you fight for everything you want and love in life and for most folks, it never comes easy. Giving up or blaming everyone else gets you nowhere. When I’m hiring folks, or looking for partners on projects, I always ask for lots of examples of challenges, disappointments in life, and how they handled them. It’s a non-negotiable trait I demand in my work environment and prefer in my social circles.
I hope by coaching my son this year, I will see that wear off on him.