A serene Saturday morning at the ball field, calm wind, sun slowly starting to thaw out the mist, not a single moment to be stressed out because “I'm playing the game I love so dearly,” right? This day could not be any more perfect, until that very first fastball is thrown to start the game. There is always that one parent in the stands, precisely standing out, or even off to the side. The one that needs to argue every single call, the one that needs to bellow at every single player, and even the one that goes so far as to telling the coach how to manage the game. As “that” parent, nothing seems to be perfect for you or your son whether it's not being committed, loss of playing time, or not even on the best team. When kids first sign up for baseball they do it to enjoy time with friends, to have fun, to learn how to master the game of “America's Pastime,” and to WIN with your team and teammates. Maybe your kid isn’t the next Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, or Mike Trout. Maybe he is the type of player to give everything he’s got so that when his time comes up, he produces profoundly. Nevertheless, those types of parents and players seem to have the complete opposite mindset which is completely killing the game slowly but surely.
In life nothing is going to be handed to you. You will fight for a spot, you will fight to see who the strongest individual is in the end. If you want, you can take the easy way out. You can transfer, you can change teams, you can complain, and you can even quit. The hardest battle you will ever have to fight in your life is between two things, who you are now, and who you want to be. If someone tells you that you are too weak, too slow, you have no arm, no power, tell them thank you because in the end it will make you a better player if you have the “grit” type of mindset. The type of players that will fail are the ones that sit in the corner and cry to their parents telling them that someone criticized you. Why not be the type of player who wants to be remembered that you worked your tail end off to beat out a player for his spot or beat out the people that thought you would fail? Maybe you aren't going to start in a game, maybe your position is the bench for that game and what people tend to forget is that the bench is also a position. As a bench and team player, you have a job and that's to pick each other up when down. When I hear people say I “sat that bench again” I always wonder, if you complain so much about it, do you actually take that position seriously? When your time comes are you ready or are you pouting on the end of the bench all alone?
The title “selfless” goes along way. I first heard it when I was coached by Jon Paino and he had told me, “Do you know what the word selfless means?” I sat quietly not knowing. “You are the most selfless player I have ever coached,” he told me. As in my own words, selfless is not caring of your own personal achievements rather it be the care and needs of others. What parents seem to care about in today's baseball world is stats. How is this guy’s batting average? What’s this guy's ERA? Honestly, they should be asking how the kid is as a teammate. Does he put the team first before anything? Or is he selfish? When you are selfless as a team, you can go very far. Why not consider the whole picture and not just one’s personal gains? “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment” - Anthony Robbins.
I have valued and learned so much while playing for CBA on the front of my chest. For the future of CBA I want them to take what I learned and play the game unselfish. Learn to be the best possible teammate, and learn to celebrate others successes. By doing this, you will earn much respect and go very far in this short game. The game filters everyone out at sometime in their life. It may be high school, college or even the professionals, but in the end it will filter you out. Be selfless and learn to enjoy every moment you got because you never know when your last game will ever be played.