Monday, April 09, 2007

Watch The Glove, Turn The Body, Throw The Leg, Snap The Hand, Grunt

Tonight was L’s second game ever as a fast-pitch softball pitcher. She got her second strike out of the season, and managed to not hit any batters in the head.

The title of this post is the mantra I am drilling into her head. Watch the glove. Stare at it. Become one with it. Don’t aim, just watch it. Turn the body towards first base as the pitch flows (she’s left handed), throw the right leg out as far as possible towards the batter, release the ball with a snap letting it roll off the fingers and yank the hand up to the shoulder, and finally, let out a low-pitch grunt for effect and to psych the body into throwing faster. Simple, yes?

It sure seems so now, as her dad/coach. It wasn’t so simple when I was 12 and pitching baseball. The perspective one has years later is like a blaring bright light- so clear, so crisp. If I could go back 28 years I truly think I could be a great pitcher. I get it now. Listen, think, focus, put 100% into every try. When I was 12, it wasn’t nearly as simple. I recall my mind reeling. Wondering if I would throw wild and hit somebody. Worrying I would make a mistake and people would laugh. Trying to step through the motions methodically, when what I really needed to do was make them natural. A part of me. Second nature. Just remembering to try my best with each throw. I get it now. I didn’t then.

Its like most things in life. When we are THERE…in it…living it…we struggle so much. We make rookie mistakes, we slack, we don’t understand that each day, each effort, each thing we decide to do is the BIG LEAGUES. We are in it, and don’t even know it. Marriage. Parenting. Work. Our spiritual life. We, or at least I, stumble through it like a 12 year old baseball pitcher all lanky and uncoordinated hoping that at least one out of 10 pitches gets over the plate. With the years comes the understanding. Spotting mistakes, understanding what is needed to ‘nail it.’

But its too late. By the time we ‘master it’ our time in the game is over. What we have is experience and understanding that we try, try, try to get our kids to use for their benefit. Please God help me understand I’m in it now. Right now.

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Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about writing a similar post! I had one of those "Wait! I'm actually...HERE." moments about 10 years ago and have used that moment to remind myself that yes, I am living in the "Good Present Days" and appreciate things NOW. Don't look back and think, wow, those were the good old days!

PS: You done been tagged. Again.

DigitalRich said...

Every day that goes by is one of the good old ones. And they continue to go by faster and faster :)

I can't find where I am tagged anywhere. I saw someting come through GoogleAlerts with my name at Lizas Eyeview, but it's not there anymore. So- nothing new to add to my to-do list. Great news :)