Bottom of the 9th - Trying vs. Trusting
Trying vs. Trusting
by Keith Wahl
Proverbs 24:16, "For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity."
As the Proverb states, when we encounter failure, we are to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again. Encouraging the truth of this Proverb can be one of the most powerful building blocks in the development of a baseball player. Fail, try again. Fail, try again. Fail, and try again. In the process of development, praising effort in the process is vital. Praising effort encourages a "growth mindset" in the player, as Carol Dweck's studies at Stanford, as well as her book,
, highlights.In 2006, we were in the first round of the double-elimination round of the state tournament. Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, our shortstop came up with the bases loaded and two outs - one of those dream situations played out by every kid in the backyard during a whiffle ball game. However, this didn't play out like a dream for him - he struck out looking, sending us to an elimination game the next morning. I caught up with our shortstop in the clubhouse before batting practice that next morning. My message to him was this "Good things happen when you swing the bat. Don't overthink the situation and let's see what happens today." No replay of the day before, nothing about his fundamentals. I wanted to encourage him to try. Amazingly enough, in the bottom of the eighth inning tied 1-1, he ripped a hard groundball through their defense to drive in the winning run from second base. The whole team mobbed him as he rounded first and the team was propelled to a state runner-up finish.There was something else I was trying to get our shortstop to do in our conversation as well - trust himself. Often times we focus so much on the trying that we forget there is another stage in the development - trust. Scott Linebrink's video from The Increase above highlights Scott's journey from trying to trust in his professional career (the picture with Scott will take you to his story, the graphic from The Increase will take you to many more stories of professional athletes discussing their faith journeys). Learning to try is an incredibly important part in the journey for all of us, but trust becomes another mile marker for all of us.
John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me."
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