Bottom of the 9th, #29 – Criticism

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Bottom of the 9th - Criticism

Criticism

by Parker Weise

Junior; Pitcher, Infielder – Valor Christian High School

     In my baseball career from the first grade through the 8th grade, I played for the same coach, some places that makes you a "franchise player".  In my case, over the years, my coach became tougher and tougher on me, pointing out every little, nitpicky issue he had with any of my technique or fundamentals.  Coach constantly sat me on the bench, perhaps as punishment for mistakes or holes in my game.  I felt cheated, my folks were payinggood money for me to play on a competitive baseball team and I felt I should be guaranteed a spot on the field!  Sitting on the bench fueled a fire inside of me.  I was so frustrated with what was going on that baseball was losing its spark in my life.  Instead of giving up on my love for the game of baseball, I took initiative and made myself better.  I used all the time that was spent on the bench and all the judgment and criticism from coach as fuel for the fire inside of me that burned to be a better baseball player.  I pushed myself to play the game to my full potential.  The last couple of years that I played for coach, were the best years of baseball I've had!  Coach had pushed me.  I fought the tendency to take his criticism personally, as coach saying that I stunk at baseball, or my effort was weak, or my technique was poor.  I took coach's input to mean that he wanted me to become a better baseball player.

If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored. Proverbs 13:18

     I was given criticism by my coach, but instead of ignoring it, I used it to make myself better and I was honored with the chance to play.  In life, we're presented with information that gives us the opportunity to make us better.  If we choose to ignore criticism or uncomfortable opportunities to grow, perhaps our ego is too large to be a man of God and our success will be small.  Scripture promises honor for accepting criticism.

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