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On Curve Balls and Bean Balls

Baseball, the American past-time. More so in years past than today, baseball has provided some of our most interesting characters and heroes and villains. It has also given us some memorable quotes and descriptive terms.

Yogi Berra provided us with such memorable lines as “You can observe a lot by watching.” “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” And the ever insightful, "It ain't over till it's over". Leo Durocher is credited with astutely observing that “Baseball is like church. Many attend few understand.”

Much has been made of the duel between the pitcher and the batter but I want to borrow the nature of one specific pitch to illustrate my point. There are many ways a pitcher can throw a baseball past the batter.

There are fast balls, changeups, sinkers, knuckleballs, curve balls and the bean balls. Life pitches to us every day. Most of the time, we get good straight pitches which we can reliably handle with a little focus and effort. Often a curve ball gets thrown which makes life interesting most of us like life’s curve balls. They keep things interesting. The other pitches get mixed in in varying amounts but the one that really hurts is the bean ball.

This past week I got beaned. Getting beaned is not fun. It knocks you down, it hurts, and very often it is delivered by someone you know, sometimes very well. Thankfully, it’s rarely intentional or malicious. Of course that doesn’t make it hurt less.

So what do we do? Here are some thoughts.

  1. Give yourself a minute to catch your breath before you jump right up to dust yourself off.It helps nothing to deny that you’ve been beaned.Accept that it has happened and give yourself a moment.I know that Proverbs says that the wounds of a friend are faithful but sometimes they are just . . .well, wounds.

  2. Walk it off.Go do something else and let the sting subside.This helps prevent anger from flaring up and making the situation worse.Charging back to the plate or worse, the mound is how brawls get started and players get ejected from games. It also give you time to think through what just happened.While I do believe that it take time to heal wounds.I do not believe that time heals all wounds.

  3. Evaluate the circumstances, the equivalent of checking your bat for damage and taking a deep breath before stepping back up to the plate. For in life we don’t get a pass to first base.We step back into the box to receive the next pitch.

  4. Adjust your thinking, approach and plan.Just like a batter readjusts his clothes and gear before stepping back into the batter’s box, we need to make an adjustment.Re-orient yourself to the new reality that presents itself and change your plan accordingly.

  5. Commit to your plan, without commitment plans are just wishes and half-hearted batters seldom get hits.

  6. Step back into the box and take your stance.To fully recover from a bean ball we must re-engage and take the next pitch.

How long does all this take? Depends, on how hard you got hit, on how much time you have to recover, on how determined you are to succeed, on lots of things. The most important thing is never quit. If you quit, success is impossible.

Let me know what you think at or on Facebook at Robert Hayworth Life Coach.

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