Emily has been on this earth for more than ten years, and now she’s on the rubber, on the mound, as one of the pitchers for our girls softball team, the Golden Bears. I am co-manager and I think I am a calm and patient coach. But I can honestly tell you that the most stressful thing I will do twice a week, (now that the real games are starting), is watch my daughter pitch. As her coach, as her Dad, you want every pitch to be a strike, every hitter to whiff, every ball to find a glove and then make an out. Not possible, this is softball, where failure is rampant so the smallest of successes are celebrated. Heck, the girls are only 9 and 10 years old, nothing is going to be perfect. But I hope my daughter will be, it’s not easy and at the same time it is one of the most rewarding things I do, to be out there and coach that team. All of the girls are trying their best to learn, to play, to be part of a team… to get in the game of life.
The life lesson though is multifaceted. It’s all about practice, persistence, and patience. We should all be doing more of these things if we truly want to get better, to become more. But are we? Put in the time, be consistent and know there really is no such a thing as an overnight sensation. Certainly not if you want lasting success. Put the three “p”‘s together and it’s a powerful combination. Emily has worked hard the past two seasons to learn to pitch. Last season we really did it more by feel, without great mechanics, without great arm speed and she still had pretty good success. This season we attended a pitching clinic and are re-learning the basics. I say we, because Emily and I do it together. I don’t watch, I participate. I’m her catcher in practice, her coach, her cheerleader and her critic. Lucky for me, Emily, for the most part, likes to practice and wants to get better. There is something so cool about watching my baby focus on improving every time she practices and every time she heads out to the middle of that diamond.
Emily and I had a talk last time we practiced, about how nothing worthwhile happens by magic. The best of the best are the ones who go out and do it, day after day, even when they don’t feel like it. They put in the time and effort when plenty of people want to put it off, or give it up altogether. If you want the rewards of success, you must put in the time and keep doing what you love, over and over and over. Whether it’s on the mound, on the job, or in your relationship. Be thankful for your talents, make the most of them, use them to benefit other people, show gratitude and then you are viewed as a winner, because you are.
Emily puts her best foot forward in everything she does and works until she gets it right. I learn from her perseverance and her pursuit of perfection every day, for herself and for others. She tries her best and is one of the best cheerleaders for her teammates, always with words of encouragement and a smile.
Emily learns and leads by example. She knows it’s not enough to just pitch, you also have to pitch in.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.