Jun 18, 2011

Confidence in the bottom of the order

Sometimes all people need is a chance so they can learn confidence. My son’s Little League baseball team is proof that you can grow self-confidence. The bottom of the batting order is the least desirable to be, especially if you are in the bottom three. Of course, you are only on the bottom of the batting order the first inning. You can be number four batter anytime after that.

One day, a tragedy happened. One of the boys that played all the time got hit in the face by a pitch that broke his nose and gave him a concussion. The little boy won’t be able to play anymore this season. He was a talented ball player so it would hurt our team. No one wants to see anyone get hurt, regardless if they are the best or the underdog. 

Before the injury, there were three boys who were taking turns riding the pine sitting on the bench. One of these three is my son. They were also the three at the bottom of the batting order. It wasn’t uncommon for them to be three outs in a row. I didn’t blame the coach for putting my son in the bottom three. I don’t think the other two sets of parents did either. These were the boys that were made fun of during warm-ups and batting practice. No one wanted to warm up by throwing the ball to them, so they would play catch together.

The tragedy was a turning point. They started getting more playing time. The boys got to go up and swing the bat more. They got to field more. Then one day, one of the boys hit the ball. FAR. INTO THE OUTFIELD. The boy was shocked for a moment. Everyone yelled, “Run!” He ran and made it to first. Then the next boy hit. Two players that hadn’t been on base all season were now on base. Then , wouldn’t you know it, the third boy hit and got on base. The team went through their batting order and all three boys got to run over the home plate that inning.

My son
Guess what has been happening at least once a game since? These boys, the underdogs, are getting on base! It makes me want to cry with happiness. Why? I love seeing people gaining self-confidence. I was the underdog in life.  I would have loved a chance sometimes, but never asked. Another reason, because MY SON was one of those boys! He has got to cross home plate several times since. He has moved up in the batting order. Players tell him, “You have got better!” or “Hit a home run!” Parents yell, “Go M!" or tell him how well he played. Another miracle, he stole three bases! Son hasn’t hit a home run yet, but he knows he can now. He has the self-confidence of someone who gets paid to play.

These boys have a confident batting stance now when they get up there. Once in awhile they CRUSH the ball. The other teammates have all improved too. All of the teammates seem more confident now than they did in the beginning of the season.

Give someone a chance this week. It may be worth it to see their self-confidence grow.  They may be the underdog wanting a chance, but not secure to ask for it.

Will you share this on Facebook or Twitter?  You never know when this may be exactly what someone needed to hear today.

 Have you seen something inspiring this week? Have you ever given someone a chance or been given a chance that helped you or them grow?


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