2009-03-16

Softball Distractions

I was driving by a high school the other day and there were some young ladies out on the ball field practicing for softball. It looked like maybe they were doing batting practice, as the pitching machine was set up. As I sat at the light waiting for it to change, I noticed that the young ladies at bat were quite a bit more focused than the young ladies in the outfield. This closely matches my own experience with softball.

See there's only two kinds of batters in softball, those who can't get the ball out of the infield and those who can hit home runs. No one ever (or very rarely) hits the ball into the field. So if you are in the outfield you've got plenty of time look for 4 leaf clovers, count the number stitches in your glove and many other numerous mind-numbing activities. So while the young ladies at bat were concentrating very hard on hitting the ball (with limited success). The young ladies in the field were concentrating on something else. Namely, cheerleading. They kept doing some little dance step in-unison that ended with leg kick. That would probably be a better detraction than the old "batter, batter, batter... sswwiiiiinng" chant that we used to do in softball. Can you image all the fielders on the team breaking into a little cheerleader dance step right as the ball was pitched? That could mess up the batter's concentration. Not to mention make the game a whole lot more interesting for the fans. After all, you can only spend so long looking for 4 leaf clovers.

I suspect that there are a couple of young ladies out there that are good at softball and cheerleading. But I'm guessing they are the exception rather than the rule. Most that are doing both are probably not the best at softball or cheerleading. I'm reminded of the old saying - "No one can serve two masters." If you want to be good at softball, spend your time on the ball field batting and fielding. If you want to be good at cheerleading, spend your time working on your cheers and dance steps. It's not rocket science to figure that out. But how many times do we actually try to do too much? How many times are we spread too thin? How many of us have our kids in karate, ballet, music, soccer, etc.? Is it too much? Do you need to cut back and spend more quality time on fewer things? Most of us probably do.

So what are you going to give up? That's worth pondering about....

1 comment:

T. Michael Cart said...

Your post was great. It showed wisdom in an area that, I think, most of us identify with. I, myself, have four boys who want to do everything. It can be daunting to run them around town to various extraciriculars.

You gave me pause. Thanks.

T. Michael Cart