Grit - Bottom of the Ninth #112

West-Point.jpg

Bottom of the 9th - Grit

Grit

by Tom Walters

A few Sundays ago, Preacher Kevin Weatherby said he thought the 10 Commandments could just as easily have been called the "The 10 Duhs!"  No disrespect intended, Kevin said "Take 'Thou shalt not kill' for example...well duh!" That made me laugh as Kevin often does.  About the same time, Coach Wahl sent the Valor baseball community an e-mail about Grit and Gratitude.  Coach Wahl's e-mail prompted me to write Bottom of the 9th offerings about both topics and in doing so, I hope to shed a little light on performance. Well, duh!The e-mail Coach Wahl sent linked us to

Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth's TED talk

video. Watch the link, it'll help you get my drift.

Dr. Duckworth really perked my interest in her discussion of predictors of performance. She's been trying to find the secret sauce! Why don't the best & brightest always perform the best? Duckworth says the #1 key to performance is grit. Dictionary.com says grit is firmness of character and indomitable spirit. Duckworth says grit is passion with perseverance. Grit is the secret sauce!

I really perked up when Duckworth mentioned West Point. I've extricated myself from the corner & my thumb from my mouth since picking up my son from West Point. Duckworth believes that grit is the difference between a West Point cadet who completes his training and one who doesn't. If baseball is a game of failure & the best of the best bat .300 doesn't it make sense that grit has a place in baseball?  If baseball is a reflection of life, doesn't it make sense that grit has a place in all of life itself?

In the video, Dr. Duckworth mentioned Stanford University Psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck's work on the Growth Mindset. Dr. Dweck says Growth Mindset is the best idea she knows about building grit. The growth mindset is a belief (a strong belief) that our ability to learn is not fixed but that it can change with our effort. When we learn about the brain & how it grows & responds to challenge, we're much more likely to persevere when we fail because we don't see failure as a permanent condition. Michael Jordan, arguably the grittiest, and most successful basketball player in history exemplifies the growth mindset when he said:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Doesn't the discussion of growth mindset make you think of "the process" that players & coaches refer to?  In the process, we trust that our actions and our beliefs will take us to our desired end.  We need to be patient with ourselves and we need to be gentle with ourselves.  Patience takes practice.  Practice builds patience.  The process leads to performance.

Just as the 10 commandments aren't a guarantee we'll go to heaven, grit alone won't get us to the big leagues. You didn't get into God's family because of your performance and you won't get kicked out because of your performance. God chose to love you because of who He is, not because of who you are or what you've done. The key to our salvation is God's Grace. The key to performance in the process is grit.

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,†and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." - Romans 10:9-10

"Of all the commandments, which is most important? Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:3

Share this Casting Crowns song with me today. Make sure you're in a place you can turn it up loud & enjoy it & sing along...(p.s. - electronics aren't a great idea in the shower.)

Have an awesome week!

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Copyright © , All rights reserved.

You may comment or correspond with Bottom of the 9th by sending an email to BottomOf9@gmail.com

Bottom of the 9th devotionals (current and previous) and other inspirations centered around the game of baseball can be found at aroundthemound.org.

Our mailing address is: