When my son was very young and learning to play baseball he became increasingly frustrated. He had a good eye and could always hit the ball. Usually, it was only to the infield or maybe a ground ball that was easily played. He so very much wanted to hit the ball further! His dad being an Englishman had never played baseball so he was at a loss on how to help. I was the one who mostly took my son to the team practices and I tried to listen to what the coaches told the kids.
It was at one of the games that I saw that some of the kids warmed up before batting by using an iron donut on their bats. My son did not. After that game I asked him about it and suggested he give it a try. I told him it might strengthen his swing and he saw the sense in it (yes, it happens!). I also told him to make a mental picture of hitting the ball up and out while he practiced.
At the next game, I watched my son warm up and saw that he actually put 2 donuts on his bat and seemed to swing with determination. Finally, it was his turn at bat. The first ball was slightly outside and he didn’t swing. On the second pitch, there was a satisfying crack of the bat. It was a nice hit. The ball went up and away, fast! It kept going, and going into the outfield, past the outfield and into the next ball field where there was another game underway! Even my jaw dropped when I saw how far the ball went. (These were little league fields but still!) My son just stood there at home plate while his teammates yelled for him to run the bases which he eventually did. So there it was – my son’s first home run! After the game, my son told me “The bat was just so light when I swung it!”
This recollection made me realize that when you are struggling with a problem or a road block, sometimes the solution is right there in front of you. The warm up donuts were always there. You only have to look at things a little differently and with fresh eyes!
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