Posted by Ken Krause
A few weeks ago one of my students pitched in a tournament. The game didn’t go particularly well, she said, as her team lost 8-0.
Not exactly the type of outcome that makes you a legend. So what happened next was very cool.
Her dad ran into the coach of the winning team in one of the common areas, and the coach was very complimentary.
“Your daughter pitched a great game,” the coach said. “What happened on the scoreboard wasn’t her fault. Her team just made too many errors.”
The pitcher’s dad thanked him for the kind words. But then came the shocker.
“Has your daughter committed to a team yet for next year?” the coach asked. “If not, I’d love to offer her a spot on my team.”
Think about that. The opposing team tapped that girl for eight runs and the coach of that team offered her a roster spot right there.
What this proves is a simple fact. As they say in the Ocean’s 11 remake, there’s always someone watching.
What that coach saw, I assume, was not a pitcher who was losing a ballgame but instead a pitcher who was battling to try to keep her team in it, even if the rest of the team was shooting itself in the foot. She didn’t give up, or complain, or do the things many athletes do when things aren’t going their way.
Instead she showed strength of character (as well as quality of performance) to a degree that impressed the coach enough to want her on his team.
That is something every athlete in every sport should keep in mind as they play. It’s easy to be happy or “up” or “fierce” when your team is winning and you’re performing well.
But the ones who really stand out are the players who can do it in the face of adversity – like giving your opponents extra outs on a hot Sunday afternoon. Not because someone might be watching but because that’s who they are.
But the someone watching part is important. It could be, as in this case, the coach of a future travel team who can offer a better opportunity.
It could be the local high school coach checking out the incoming freshmen. It could be a college coach who is looking for the right players to help their team win a conference championship and go to a post-season tournament.
Heck, it might even be a future employer who just happens to be out watching their daughter play ball.
Whoever it is you just never know who might be watching. And who might be very impressed with how you handle yourself when things aren’t going well.
So keep that in mind on your tough days. Instead of sulking, or complaining, or just giving up, keep on playing. Do your best every time no matter how roughly things are going.
Because there’s always someone watching who could make a huge difference in your life.