Block 2, Enthusiasm - Bottom of the Ninth #115

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Bottom of the 9th - Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm - Block 2, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

by Keith Wahl

A year is a long time. So many things occur that help us grow in just 365 days. Recently, I downloaded an app called Timehop that allows me to look back on my photos and postings on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook from that day in years gone by. It's amazing to me how those photos and postings can bring you back into that moment in time emotionally. And, as nostalgia goes, the fondness of those moments tends to grow with age.

As we've been holding our annual youth baseball camp this week, the opportunities to reflect on past years in our program and at camp are plentiful. The alums tell stories to the current players about their experiences, and share devotionals with the campers about themes such as "Legacy" and "Humility." It's a rich time of community and leads to the other cornerstone of Wooden's Pyramid of Success - Enthusiasm.

Wooden says this about Enthusiasm:

As beneficial as enthusiasm is, it must be dispatched in moderation. Extreme highs do not work. In fact, too much emotion can be counterproductive. Highs lead to lows, and such swings of intensity result in instability. I wanted my players on an even keel so that their thinking wasn't adversely affected by emotion. Quiet enthusiasm gets results. It exudes confidence and rubs off in wonderful ways.

Nostalgia and fond memories lead to a deep sense of enthusiasm. Knowing that we are creating more memories in new players and a deeper legacy in our baseball program through events such as a youth baseball camp leads to new levels of enthusiasm for everyone involved. We often need these reminders to feed our tank of enthusiasm so we don't get caught in the trap of false, unstable enthusiasm that lacks repeatability.

May the summer grant us the opportunities to reflect on the last year and beyond so we can grow in a deep sense of enthusiasm from our Father. May we take the simple perspective of this prayer written in one of the books about Wooden's pyramid to heart:

"Almighty God of excitement and passion, I want to serve You with my whole heart and every fiber of my being. Give me a passion for Your Son that will rub off on all whom You place in my path and the knowledge and understanding to be firm in my faith. Father, I want to become all that I can become as Your enthusiastic representative. May it be so."

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