Why take the bat off your shoulder and other cliches
This is just a very short post. I saw this posted on Facebook today and it reminded me how important it is to make use of every opportunity.This is “Why take the bat off your shoulder”
Lou Gehrig began his streak of 2,130 games played on this date in 1925 when he pinch hit for Pee Wee Wanninger. Most people remember Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp at first base the next day.
What might have happened if Gehrig had looked bad at the plate the day before? You never know what will happen.
One at bat and a historic career gets off the bench. Interestingly, Wanninger is best known as the player who ended one consecutive-game streak and helped start another. As a rookie, he replaced Everett Scott at shortstop for the Yankees on May 5, 1925 to end Scott’s then major league record of 1,307 consecutive games. On June 1, 1925 Lou Gehrig started his famous 2,130 game consecutive streak when he pinch hit for Wanninger.
Wanninger missed his chance, Gehrig made history, The Hall of Fame and a lifetime of memories for himself and baseball fans.
What will you do with your chance today? That is not only the big question, but it begs another. When do you know that the opportunity of a lifetime is knocking on your door? If you don’t swing at a pitch because you are afraid of making an out, you may end up as a historical footnote. We get pitched to everyday of our lives. I don’t mean that in terms of offers to buy things (which of course is true too), but things happen in our lives everyday giving us the chance to step up to the plate and hit it out of the park. Yes we may often swing and miss, but the effort is critical. Baseball players even of Lou Gehrig’s stature only at best hit the ball safely less that 4 out of 10 times. You never hit unless you take the bat off your shoulder.
So I imagine I’ve used enough baseball cliches to make you shout enough already. I’m trying to make three points at once here. First of course we never know when the chance of a lifetime will present itself to us. Second is that unless you take a risk and put effort into the things we do, we have little chance for success. My third point is more devious. I wanted to show just how much the language of sport is infused into everything we do. It doesn’t matter if we are talking baseball (or other sports), business or our personal lives, the language of sports and all its cliches and metaphors have become inseparable in our daily lives. My tag line on this blog is “How Sport Psychology Explains the World”. My meaning is that mental training for sport applies to more than just our actions on the field or court. It applies to everything we do. It may be cliche but success in all aspects of life is related in similar ways to that of successful athletes. The lessons learned from competition at the highest levels apply to business and even or relationships. How we use our emotional intelligence, how we deal with stress are all factors in our life. I teach athletes that they are the one’s in control. They have the power to become what they want, to dictate the terms of their careers in sports. Is it any different for you, the lawyer, business person, chef, engineer, mechanic, etc? If you want to change your life the secret is inside you. You may be missing the tools right now, but they are available. Now just as I can’t help an athlete win a gold medal if they are missing the right genetic makeup, I can help them become the best that they can be. This is true for all of us. We may have educational limits. We all have attributes that make us who we are. We can be the best we can be, all we need to do is not pass up opportunities, be willing to risk swinging the bat and perhaps, just perhaps seek out the tools that will make us happier in our lives using the mental tools to bring things together.
So take that bat off your shoulder and swing for the fence, grasp life in your hands and risk failure. It’s a hell of a lot more fun to play the game than to sit on the bench, just ask Pee Wee Wanninger and Wally Pipp.