Don’t Give up!

As our summer winds down and September takes hold, I was looking back over pictures taken during the summer. It has been an amazing summer with a long car drive from Arizona to Michigan, a plane flight to Florida and finally back to Arizona. We did a few short jaunts to Las Vegas and Phoenix with even a camping trip tossed in. We have been in 11 states this summer, but the most memorable teaching moment came very close to home. It was my son’s All Star baseball game.

I look proudly at the picture remembering how they all stood as the National Anthem played waiting for the line up to be announced. It was such a proud moment for the kids and parents alike.

The game was like many games for 8-10 year old boys, up and down with parents from both sides cheering on the boys to do their best. But it turned into a true nail biter in the last inning. Our boys were up by 1 (yeah team!) and we just had to hold the other team from scoring during their next at bat and we would win the game. Well, as in Little League fashion, the last inning comes down to how good is your teams’ pitching. We ended up struggling at the mound and went into the bottom of the inning down by 9 – we gave up 10 runs.

Our boys were devastated. There were lots of tears in the dugout as they struggled to get their heads into the game and come out swinging for the fences. The coaches had to work hard to rally the team. They were telling the boys they had not lost yet and they still had an at bat. The coaches really tried to put a good face forward and cheer the boys on, but even they felt a bit deflated.  

Much to the shock of our team and dismay of the other side, the boys came out strong! They not only made up the 9 runs they were behind, but they came back and won! The shock and joy on their faces when they realized they had done it was priceless. It was truly a victory for them to remember.

I will not forget what my son told me later that night. He said, “I had to mark this day on the calendar on my iPad and set a yearly reminder. I can never forget this day!” When I asked him why he responded with, “Because today was amazing. My team really thought we had lost, but once we decided it wasn’t over, we did our best and worked hard as a team. That feeling of winning when we thought it was over was amazing Mom! I can’t ever forget to always play to the end.”

So, like an All Star Little League team, remember to always play ‘til the end. As our 1st base coach said frequently, “That is why you get 4 balls and 3 strikes, you are not out after just one strike!”

Don’t give up on yourself. How many times do we abandon our goal because we think it is over? Pull yourself together and play one more inning. You just might surprise yourself, just like our boys did! And remember if you use baseball as your marker, you get many tries at the plate before you are really out, if you use the ball count to your fullest. Even with a full count, your next swing just might be a home run!

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