In my opinion, Baseball is hands down the best sport to ever be played. Not simply because of the physical aspects but more importunely because of the life example that it is.
I’ve heard it said before that baseball is a 10% physical game and a 90% mental game. Just like the batter who’s up to plate, in life we have to be ready for every pitch thrown our way. Baseball, like life, is all about making the next play.
The batter is up to plate, an opportunity is thrown his way and he takes it, sending the it high in the air, over the shortstop’s head. Once that ball hits the green turf, the runner’s goal is to get back home in order to score. The way by which this player accomplishes this victory is by means of three bases and the ability to maneuver them affectively.
We each have our own skills and talents which we use to achieve our goals in this life. You could look at these skills bases. One’s ability to showcase and use these bases efficiently will determine their score on the board by the end of the game.
For myself, I have three main bases that I have acquired over time and am continuing to perfect during each inning in this game we call life.
Base 1. Communication
The ability to express one’s self in a clear and effective way is a skill that can truly change the world. If one can clearly communicate an idea in a way that others can understand and relate to, then they then can have the ability to influence that person’s thoughts. Words can change a person’s opinion, which then can change their actions, which then can change the world.
An example of how I have used this particular skill would be the many opportunities that I have had to speak with my national speech and debate team. At one particular event, I was speaking on the effects of addiction on the human brain and how one can overcome this neurological encagment. On many occasions I would have people form my audience speak to me afterwards on how my research had changed their views on addiction. One such conversation was with a gentleman who had personally struggled with an addiction for many years. He thanked me for my presentation because it gave him hope that he could overcome this obstacle, which had before seemed to be an unmovable mountain.
Many of these people went form believe their own situation, or the situation of a loved one, was beyond hope. After a single speech though, nothing more than mere words, they suddenly had hope and the courage to try.
Another example of this would be the many opportunities that I have had to share my faith at church functions and youth camps. From speaking to a large groups of young campers, to quoting the sermon on the mount at a youth group lock in, I have been the able to not only share the good news of the gospel in a clear and understandable way, but also to take the time to listen to questions and give specific answers. One important key to communication is the ability to listen and effectively respond.
Base 2. Leadership
Bringing direction, organization and a vision to a group of people is what leadership is all about. It’s not about who is on top but instead is a position of serving others. As a leader one must constantly be aware of the needs of those who are looking to them for guidance, and must realize that others are counting on them to provide a level of security. Leadership is a privilege earned though responsibility.
An example of this skill in my own life would be my most previous job. For the last two years I have been working as a USA certified Gymnastics coach with all ages and levels of athletes. This last year I was given my own class of beginning students. This was my first experience teaching on my own and it required a large learning curve on my part. I suddenly went form being responsible for an hour and a half long class, to being in charge of organizing the entire class schedule, work-out plan, individual learning paces, and tournament entries. There were many times I honestly didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew that it was my job to figure it out and bring security to my students and their parents. A leader cannot simply back down when they face a new unknown. They must rise above the obstacles and then help others to do the same. Being a leader is the action of living for others instead of oneself.
Another situation where I exercised this skill would be during my grade school extra curricular activities. From 4-H, sports, and debate, I was given no shortage of opportunities to lead. Though I may not of held the official title of leader in each of these activities (though in many I did), the ability to take on responsibility and guid others was still available. Being a leader doesn’t require a title. It requires an audited and a mindset. In ever situation in life there is an opportunity to lead by example. In each of these activities I would find younger participants who were going through many of the same obstacles I had overcome. By offering a helping hand or being an example of moral character, I was preforming the duties of a leader regardless of my actual position.
Base 3. Creativity
When one hears the word creativity they most likely think of a form of art such as painting, where the artist uses their creativity to create a masterpieces. Though this is true, it by no means applies solely to the arts. Creativity is the ability to take a form of chaos and bring about order in a unique and captivation way.
I find great pride in discovering new and more effective ways of accomplishing tasks.
An example of this would agin be my past experience as a gymnastics coach. In each new obstacle that I faced the ability to look at the situation and creatively find a way by which to solve my dilemma was a life saving skill. One particular situation involved teaching a student a skill that I had never taught before. I knew the fundamentals of how the skill worked, but I myself had never actually taught someone else how to preform this actions themselves. For many weeks I would spend hours watching other coaches who taught higher levels than myself. I also thought of analogies and examples that I could use to explain exactly what the skill would feel like, and which areas of their body would need to move in certain ways. The final thing I did was break down the complicated movement into simple movements that made up the whole action. As an end result, I was able to teach this skill, and many more advanced skills, to my students throughout the competitive season. At the end of that year, my class had progressed from its beginning level, to advanced, with each student placing in the top ten at the Sate level, in every event.
Regardless of the opportunity that life pitches my way, be it a job position, a life changing decision, or simply an every day task, these three bases are the way by which I reach my goals and slide into home.