What’s the main objective? What’s the ultimate goal? What does this all lead to? Is it fame? Is it fortune? Is it success? Is it about us? Is it about them? What is it??
Let me give you a bit of my personal highs and lows in the game and as a person. But while I list them out, understand that these achievements and failures are not listed to say look at what I have done, they do not define me as a person, coach or athlete, but to show you the ups and downs I have experienced as a player and person and how they all played a part in who I am today.
– Played majors in LL as a 9 year old.
– Was a LL all star.
– Played LL as a 13 & 14 year old.
– Pitched from 46′ at 12 years old and then jumped to the big field as a 13 year old and didn’t start learning HS rules until then (have to mention this as so many these days think if you wait until this age you have no chance).
– Also played basketball and football as a youth.
– Moved to a new state before freshman year of HS.
– Had to convince HS coach to give me an opportunity as a freshman as to them I was just a new kid and they already had their starters picked out.
– Was NOT a four year varsity player (2 years).
– Was NOT a good student as a freshman and sophomore.
– Had a very rough patch as a person/son as a sophomore.
– Chose the wrong group of friends during those years.
– Did not get good SAT scores.
– Signed to attend a major college.
– Was drafted in the 4th round after being led to believe it would be the 1st.
– Had an up and down first half of my professional career.
– 1st child born in 7th year of career, 2nd in 9th year and 3rd during the 12th year.
– Right timing, right coach or a combination of the two, I started to finally figure it out as a 25 year old.
– Had multiple seasons where my performance was deserving of a call up that never came.
– Finished with 14 years pitched with roughly 1500 innings pitched, over 1200 strikeouts, 500+ walks allowed, 130+ HR’s allowed in my minor league career, lost many and won many with my fondest memory being giving up #160 to Pujols that went nearly 500 ft!
– Had plenty of days I was great and plenty of days where I was flat out awful. In the end, the days I sucked is why I was able to achieve what I did.
– Was a part of a failed indoor facility in my home town.
– Coached in the minor leagues with the Angels for 3 years and now get to follow at least a dozen former players now in the show.
– Now am blessed to mentor and work with many in our local community.
Again, this list is to give you a better understanding of what I have personally experienced, gone through as an athlete, person and coach and to hopefully really help you understand that when I say this matters or that matters, it’s not just smoke. Not just something I have read about in a book. Not just something out of a story someone told me, it’s ALL from personal experience, from working with others and helping/teaching them how to grow and maneuver this crazy sports world.
So now let’s talk about this a bit. What matters most? Is it being an all star? Is it playing with and against the best talent? Is it playing for the so called “best” organization? Is it traveling all over the country to play? Is it committing to a D1 school? Is it being drafted? Is it playing in the big leagues?
All tremendous achievements and all goals attained BUT what if none of these things happen for you or your child? Be it because of not developing early, not being able to afford the travel and fees associated with the “best” program or not having the talent to play college baseball or reach the big leagues. Does that mean you are a failure? If you are so consumed with the thought that these are the only definitions of success, then yes, in YOUR mind you are a failure. If you let these ideas define you, you will behave like a failure.
Coming from someone who was blessed to accomplish what most will not, please take my word for this, IT’S NOT WHAT MATTERS MOST. Who you become as a person, MATTERS MOST. The people you raise as a parent, MATTERS MOST. The people you help along your way, MATTERS MOST. The difference you make in the lives of others, MATTERS MOST…PERIOD!!
**The PROCESS that each success and failure requires, the lessons you have learned and will learn, how you grow as a person and the characteristic traits you will develop, the toughness and compassion, the determination and will, the grit and perseverance, the me attitude that transforms into a you attitude, IS WHAT MATTERS MOST.
Achievements are goals attained. We all have our own talents, our own goals, our own dreams. As you work towards each and every one of them, pay attention to the PROCESS. The work ethic you are acquiring, the lessons you are learning, the person you are becoming, the type of leader you are growing into because…THIS IS WHAT MATTERS MOST.