Watch any game from youth through the professional level and you’ll see plays not being made because the player was more afraid of failure than anything else. In my opinion, fear of failure is a more important in a player and not being able to perform during a critical situation. Sure, it’s true that a player may be over matched in a given situation, but even then, the fear of failure will often take the small opportunity for success and reduce it even further.
The catcher in baseball is one of the most important players. He is the leader of the team and he needs to react quickly to any situation that may occur. Therefore, he must have excellent physique that allows him to stay sharp and alert throughout the entire game. The catcher has the entire field in front of him and he must be able to read the game and see what is going to happen next. Catchers are responsible for getting the most out of their pitchers and teammates because baseball is a fast game. The catcher has to have enough practice that he can act without thinking. He must be able to anticipate players running speed, playing situation and the surface of the playing field, just to name a few of the things.
I always believed the quote “There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit” (Al Gallagher, 1971). Lately my day starts at the deli and then on to baseball; Monday, fast forward, it’s already Sunday and we have had baseball all week. Between coaching, I am watching the mariners and trying to keep track of my kid in collage playing baseball .This weekend watching the mariners made me ill, pitchers you love them one minute hate them the next. Now I know why I hate losing a baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. It all comes down to bugs bunny. When I was a kid, Bugs Bunny was my idol because I saw a cartoon of him playing ball - the one where he plays every position himself with nobody else on the field but him. Now that I think of it, Bugs is still my idol. You have to love a ballplayer like that. This is all I could think about Sunday was Bugs…maybe I am watching to much baseball.
In addition, something that really bugs me is Sushi at a ballpark…THAT IS NOT BALLPARK FOOD! All entrees should touch either flame or heat, even if it is only from the armpit of the vendor. I am so tired of fans that go to a game just to eat, watch the damn game and cheer anyway as the day goes! This week had me thinking as I watch my son Mario play a double header at Columbia Basin; the first thing I realized was that my expectations were different from those of my son. I did not remember what it was like to be a young kid playing baseball, not that I could not remember, I just didn’t think that far back. I started to think back what it was like to be a high school and college player; how baseball instilled in me a number of values that I believe helped me in school, in life and in athletics: Dedication, hard work, perseverance are just a few things that I learned while playing. These are just a few life skills I hope my kids will learn as they grow and I believe sports would provide a great opportunity to learn them (the key word is will). I played baseball for the pure joy of it. I didn’t work on anything, I just played and improved because I played a lot and had a good time. I watched my son Saturday and saw that he had grown a lot this year and it had nothing to do with his swing or his throwing mechanics; He played hard and was mainly concerned about his team about having a good time doing it. Baseball was exactly what he was supposed to be for a 19 year old.
Mario did not start the second game and as I looked into the dugout there he was giving his teammates encouragement with high fives as they came off the field, he never gave it a thought he had grown up so much. As I thought about that, it made me think of how we used to play ball in the backyard. I also realized he had not asked me to play in awhile and this was due to my inability to take off my coaching hat and just have fun. It had affected more than just me trying to coach him; it also affected our ability to just have fun together and enjoy watching him play. Mario came into the game in the 7th inning and got a hit. His team won both games and he had a good day, 2-5, a couple of walks and scored three runs.
Sometimes as a parent, you think that your child could be the next Chas Utley or Derek Jeter but you must keep in mind that the odds are against you. Only 1 in every 100,000 kids that start playing baseball will make the major leagues. Every one of those kids will want and should have a good relationship with their parents. Make sure that sports are something that binds you together and does not split you apart.
In closing, you can see as a coach and a parent I see all sides and just hope I can keep an open mind about baseball and what it means to me as well as my kids. MY KIDS ARE THE TEAM
We have a very big week, Monday was Eastlake and we won 11-1. Wednesday we got Skyline and Friday is Newport, what a week!