The First Loss

 

This week my son and his baseball team lost their first game. They had won their first 6 games going into the night and they knew it would be a tough game. That night, they were playing the best team in the league. They showed up ready to play and warmed up just as usual. As the game progressed it was clear that the other team was better.Throughout the game, the other team got more hits, caught more balls and made more plays than our team did. The score ran up against us.

Our players didn’t have too much disappointment on their faces, as they were still playing their game and doing as good a job as they’ve done it in the other game. The most frustrated people at the ball field that day were the parents for our team. Our kids were out there playing their best, having fun, and enjoying a baseball game. A few of our players were, in fact, excited that the other team was getting hits because we were able to field the balls and see some action. With a few exceptions, our kids hit the ball, ran the bases, and fielded plays as well as we had played any other game.

DugoutIf our team was the only team out on the field you would not have seen a difference from any of the previous six games. But because the other team was better, our team looked worse and it was frustrating us as parents. As I sat and watched my son’s reactions and the reactions of the other players they were just as fired up just as excited and had just as much fun as they had in the other games. Sometimes your perspective means everything. You don’t have to be the best and you don’t have to win every game. It is okay to lose if you play to the best of your ability and enjoy the game while you’re playing.

Life will show you that you are not the best at everything. You may struggle with certain things. You will be compared to people that are more talented in areas than you are. You need to have the confidence to know that what you’re doing is the right thing and you’re committed to being your best. You don’t have to be the best in the world. You just have to be the best you can be. You should be satisfied with your level of effort and the results that you get. You may not reach all your accomplishments, close every sale, sink every shot, or make the best choices every time. But you can be the best that you can be, make the right choices, and have fun.

There is a level of commitment required to be the best. It doesn’t matter if it is having the best record in coach-pitch baseball, being the top sales person, or having the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood. Everything we do take time, energy, money, and focus. We cannot put all of our resources into everything and try to be the best in every area. For example, I cannot expect to spend all my time and energy at work and expect to be successful at home as a father and husband. There has to be a balance and understanding of priorities and effort. I am satisfied with the effort and resources that we put towards baseball for my son. He has a lot of fun, practices the basics, and is learning. We don’t spend every day at the cages or on the practice field. Our time in baseball may increase as he gets older and wants to pursue it, but for now, we are content to not be the best player in the league.

After the game, I asked my son if he had fun. He said yes. I asked him if there were things he could improve on and we talked about the things that he could do better. I asked him what he did well and he told me a few things that were good. He’s got a great outlook on life. I would be better off seeing my life like he sees his baseball game. I’ll remember that I’m not the best at everything. I’ll do the best I can and improve where I can. Most of all, I will enjoy my time on the field.
***Update***

Since I wrote this, the season has finished. Our guys and girl finished 9-1 for an awesome season. I have to send a huge thank you to Coach Reid and the other coaches for keeping our kids aligned to what is important while playing and learning. Check out Coach Reid’s podcast and website at http://overmydadbodpod.com/.

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