We have all been there:
I made the error that cost us the game.
I struck out with the winning run on base.
I threw a fatty over the heart of the plate and they hit the winning home run.
The feelings of despair and failure are as much a part of this game as the dirt on the infield and grass in the outfield. If you play this game, you have failed. It is built into the game and it will always be a big part of what makes this game so great and so heartbreaking, all at the same time.
Everyone faces setbacks. How you handle them is the true test.
Have you ever seen the old cartoon where the character has an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? The angel represents positive and the devil the negative!
Negative Thoughts: I stink! I suck! I blew it! I’m no good! I can’t play on this team! I can’t do it!
Weak. Inadequate. Discouraged. Powerless.
When you have these thoughts or feelings you have the power to change them. How, you ask?
Simple. Listen to the angel.
Positive thoughts: I can! I will work! I’m the best hitter I know!
Lead to positive feelings: Strong! Capable! Empowered! Confident!
There is a proverb that goes something like this:
Father to his son: We all have two wolves inside of us. One is negative and hurtful and tells us all the things we can not do. The other is positive and encouraging and tells us we can accomplish anything.
Son to father: Really? Which one is stronger?
Father to son: The one you feed.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.