Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

Success requires patience

I’ve talked before how we live in an “instant results” type of world. If we want popcorn we toss a bag in the microwave and three minutes later there it is. If we want to see our favorite TV show or movie we just hit the On Demand button and there it is. And so forth.

Yet it never fails to surprise me when a player or student lacks the patience to learn something new. Last night I was working with a pitcher, second lesson for her with me. Her mom brought her to me because she felt she was stalled where she was. After we worked basic mechanics and locations, I asked what other pitches she threw. She told me a changeup, so I said let’s see it.

After watching a couple I asked what type of change she was throwing. (I always ask in case what I see isn’t what they’re supposed to be doing.) She told me a handshake change. Not my favorite, personally, because to make it work I find most pitchers slow down as they go to release. So I asked if she was willing to try something different. (Normally I don’t ask, but with HS tryouts around the corner I figured I should check.) She said sure — what else was she going to say — so I showed her the backhand change.

After trying it two or three times, and having it work better each time (although not great) she said she was getting frustrated. I was shocked. I mean, how good do you think it will be throwing it three times ever? But apparently she just figured it was like instant cocoa — add a little water and you’re all set.

We continued to work at it and she got better. But I wonder how much she’s going to continue to work on it. Work being the operative word.

Learning to do anything well — pitch, hit, play an instrument, ride a bike, perform brain surgery — takes time. If you’re not willing to put in the time, you’re going to have a tough time competing. Accept getting a little better each day, as Bobby Simpson likes to say, and you’ll find yourself happier and better in the long run.

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