Being on time
There are some things in life that seem like little things to some people, but they’re really indicators of bigger issues. For me, one of those is being on time.
I am a fanatic about being on time. When I was young and dating, if the girl lived more than a few miles away I would always allow plenty of extra time. Sometimes I’d wind up driving around for a half hour, but it didn’t matter because gas was 50 cents a gallon. It’s a tendency I’ve continued throughout my life. I always try to allow enough time for a flat tire, a traffic jam, or a lack of parking.
With softball, I definitely subscribe to the notion that if you’re 15 minutes early you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late. But it has more to it than just my own personal preferences.
Being late, to me, is a sign of disrepect to your teammates. You may not realize it, but you’re telling them that you and your time are more valuable than them and theirs. Why else would you feel like you can keep everyone else waiting, or skip part of the warm-up or other activity? It also throws off warm-ups, and may leave either you or your teammates unprepared for the practice or game ahead.
Yes, some people have more trouble being on time than others. But it’s still a choice. They could choose to leave earlier, have their stuff together sooner, or otherwise take steps to be on time. If they’re depending on their parents I might cut them a little more slack, but mom and/or dad need to learn the value of being on time for the same reason.
People who work with elite ballplayers say the difference between them and ordinary players is elite players willing do the things ordinary players don’t want to do. A lot of that is the little things — like being on time. It’s a simple thing, and something that really doesn’t take a lot of effort.
Respect your teammates, and respect the game. Learn to be on time.