These thoughts this week are actually a kind of continuation from a post I did about a year ago entitled, “When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough.”
A quick synopsis of that post is:
–My youngest son loves baseball
–Very disappointed to not make the modified school baseball team in 7th or 8th grade
–Night of notification of not making 8th grade team made a list of goals
Pondering the events of this past year regarding my son and his baseball adventures made me see how God’s hand has been working in his life through the year. When his best wasn’t good enough to make the modified, school baseball team last year, he turned it around into something positive by working on some goals.
In my sharing the events of this past year with you, it is my hope and prayer that you will be able to relate to some issue in your life where your best wasn’t good enough, yet you saw God working in your life through that adversity.
It was such a blessing to see how his travel team coaches were so understanding and supportive of my son when they learned he did not make the school team. The main coach would let him come down to the indoor complex anytime he wanted to practice and play baseball with his son that was always down there.
That actually led to my son being able to help out and coach a few of the younger teams to help share his love and knowledge of the sport with younger boys. This is helping him build some leadership qualities and to be a role model for others.
It was also at this time that the two travel team coaches thought it would be a great opportunity for my son to start playing the catcher position for the team. My son had been a catcher just a few times in Little League but not really for the older leagues. Not making the school team allowed him time to practice in this new position.
Another blessing was that the coaches had extra equipment that my son could use…they just gave it to him to save us that expense. They said being a catcher is actually one of the most important positions because you have to be aware of everything going on and knowing what to do when is so crucial as a catcher. They felt confident my son would handle the pressure well.
My son picked up the position rather quickly and became 2nd string catcher. His confidence has definitely grown over this past year in that position with the extra practice time he gets as well.
Seeing the growth in confidence in my son through the opportunities afforded him by not making the school team last year was very rewarding as a parent. Sometimes I think we need those things in order to grow more. It might not be our plan, but ultimately the Lord knows and wants what is best for us. It reminds me of my favorite Bible verse, Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (NIV)
When the indoor baseball started up again in October this year, it was great to see my son be confident enough to kind of “lead” the team, especially since there were many new players on the team with only four returning members. The voice yelling the number of outs, where the play should be, etc. will be my son.
With the travel team this year being extended to younger age groups, my son has gotten to be “friends” with a few other coaches. What a blessing it has been to see the support and encouragement two particular coaches have been for my son. I am so in awe of these “mentors” that God has placed in my son’s life.
It made me think about what a gift we can be to others as mentors in others lives…whether spiritual or for a sport or art.
Can you be a blessing to someone or have you thought of and thanked some special mentors in your life?
This is the picture of the goals that my son came up with a year ago:
—As with most people, he was working very hard on the exercise routine in the beginning but as time went by, that kind of fell off. But, he continues to lift hand weights sporadically to try to gain more strength.
—Though my son didn’t make his weight goal this year, he is definitely in better shape than he was a year ago. He has thinned out which has enabled him to be faster in his running and moving about the field.
—I would say his goal of being primary third baseman was pretty much met. He is versatile in just about any position so he had opportunities to play in every position.
—During the travel team baseball season last year, my son started out well with his hitting goal but that kind of fell off. At some points, he was actually the lowest rank in hitting. But, he continued to keep fighting through and with the support of the coaches, things eventually improved little by little.
A week ago my son had JV school baseball tryouts for four days. They do a lot of running and the one day he related the story that he was probably in the bottom four of a pack and at the end he sprinted out ahead of that group. He thought the coach saw that, hoping that would be a good thing for him to see his determination and putting forth the extra effort.
My son also wasn’t going to try out for the pitcher position because he feels he’s not as good as the other people, but I’m happy that he changed his mind at the last minute. When he asked if he should, I encouraged him saying that maybe if he did, it would show that he was more versatile.
Last week, my son was quite surprised, pleasantly surprised and so excited, to learn that he actually MADE the JV school baseball team as a freshman!! He was in shock, but oh, so happy. He actually seemed to beat the odds of political school issues as well!
What a huge blessing to see that my son’s ultimate goal from his goal list from last year….
MAKE THE HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL TEAM!
In fact, we still have that white board, which I see included a few extra goals during the year.
After finding out he made the school team, he headed to the indoor complex for practice with the travel team there. The first person he ran into was one of the two mentor coaches. Right away, he gave my son a huge hug through the netting separating the field and walk area. The two guys were just so happy for him and gave him some peps talks to help boost his confidence. It sure made this mama’s heart happy to see that encouragement from the coaches and thinking about what a blessing we can be in other’s lives.
My son admitted to the one mentor that he does honestly feel he has the “weakest” arm on the team. The mentor is willing to help him, on the off season, to come up with a weight training program where he will be able to work on that. He said by next year, he will be just as strong as the others on the team.
When you experience times when your best isn’t good enough, look to see if there are some goals you can work on to maybe make your best good enough next time.
And, remember it is good to be working toward some goal or goals though we might not always meet or exceed them.
Working to improve ourselves is a good thing…..little by little we can be different, be better, and shine more for the Lord.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:13-14 (NIV)