Although there’s no special significance with today’s date, it could be a day that you and your son remember for the rest of your lives.
I say this because…
What you think is a plain ole’ ordinary day, borderline boring…with just a little extra attention, could instantly become an extraordinary day.
If only you would soak in the moment a little longer, realize that what happened 2 minutes ago is gone and you’ll never get it back.
Thursday, my wife who’s been on complete bed rest for the past 10 days calls me and say’s Rex, my 4 year-old only son, has cried and complained all night about his foot and hip hurting. A few days ago, he’d been slightly scratched by a puppy on the corner of his big toe.
I take the short 5-minute drive home and his foot looks fine.
But, what’s weird was this…I’d had a dream the night before about my kids health, and for the past hour and half, was on the phone with the insurance company attempting to find the closest pediatric dentist for my middle daughter.
And had it not been for that dream, I’m not sure if I’d had such an urgency to get Rex to the doctor because he was acting fine, his foot looked fine, but something told me not to take any chances.
Within 30 minutes of being called back, the doctor took one look at his foot after taking off his socks and advised us to drive over to Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Over the next 48 hours, my wife and I stood next to his bedside as he screamed while nurses inserted IV’s into his arms, poked and prodded to dig out the infection and listened as a team of specialists from the infectious disease center asked us questions to determine what was going on with our 4-year old little boy.
At that moment, you’d give away everything you own, everything you didn’t own just to trade places and take on the pain and suffering that no little one should have to endure.
And this went on for the next 36 hours.
So, as I was sitting in the rocking chair I started to reflect back on the time I’d spent…
Giving him high 5’s and praising every swing he took so wildly that his shoes would literally fall off and the excitement I could see in his eyes as I yelled…
“Go get you bat and glove, let’s go to practice.”
At any moment, I had prepared myself for the doctors to walk in and tell us that our son had the dreaded disease, the one every parent keeps locked up in their back of their minds, to afraid to even take one second to think it could happen to one of your kids.
But, I was prepared for the worse and promised myself I wouldn’t cry in front of him if it were the case.
I can’t help but think of you reading this that have experienced that moment when you hear the news and you feel like the world is caving in around you and yet you stay strong, fight through it and support your little ones the whole way through, even though you don’t know what the outcome might be.
To you, YOU deserve the highest badge of honor and courage that’s only bestowed upon .00000001% the greatest men and women that’s ever stepped upon this earth.
Because I don’t know if I could do what you’ve done, face the adversities and struggles that you deal with every day and still hold up.
And then I started to think about all the parents out there.
The ones that take for granted the ordinary days, the borderline boring days. So focused on the results that you fail to see what’s most important.
And that’s the process.
- Not just the process for obtaining results, but the process of building the Father-Son relationship that led you to this game and where you are right now.
- The process of making memories that last a life time and when you reflect back on what seems like “boring, ordinary time spent with your son” you’ll realize that these were extraordinary moments that you’d give anything to experience just one more time.
Instead, it’s turned into a game that’s all about you.
It’s not about your son. And it’s not why you introduced your son to this game.
So, to you…
Realize that even the ordinary days, the days where your son seems like the worst player on the field, the day’s he’s hurting, embarrassed and feels like he’s let you down and ready to quit…
Don’t turn your back on him, don’t point out the negatives, realize that it’s moments like this that will define who he becomes and sets in motion the memories that you will cherish the rest of your life, or regret.
It’s a choice, a powerful one at that. So, powerful that in this very moment, your words will carve out a path that leads him down a road of hope or despair.
So, my advice to you at this moment…
- It’s your duty to teach him what this game is really about.
- Teach him the secret to this game is no different that the secret to Life.
It’s not how many times you Fail, it’s how many times you RESPOND.
Because, at the end of the day, you’re going to FAIL so many more times than you ever succeed but what separates the GOOD from the GREAT in the game of baseball is…
How you RESPOND TO FAILURE.
- Be wise enough to see what’s in front of you
- Realize as a Father YOU have the POWER to turn an “ordinary” moment into an “EXTRA”ordinary event that both of you will remember for the rest of your days.
- And regardless of the outcome, you’ll know that you’ve done everything in your power to help him succeed.
That’s what this game is all about.
It’s your job to praise the INTENT, not the results.
- Make every moment you spend with your son count because you never know if this will be the last.
- And what seems so important now, wont’ amount to a hill of beans in the Big Picture.
It’s your duty to do everything in your power to make this game as fun and exciting as it was when he was my son’s age…Reflect back when he was 4 or 5 years old, waiting in front of the window, in full uniform looking out the window and waiting for Dad to pull in the driveway so he could go out and hang with the man that means everything to him, Dad.
Because it’s the simple moments in Life that we take for granted.
My advice to you is…
Be wise enough to soak in the ordinary moments a few seconds longer and make them EXTRAordinary moments.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the perspective to realize that every second we spend with a healthy kid is far from ordinary and to be honest, just by soaking in the moment one second longer would allow you to realize how luck you really are.
Just imagine if you took 5 minutes a day…
- You put down the iPhone because whomever is on the other line is not near as important, as the person who’s in front of you.
- You suddenly realize you’ve got 5 more minutes to spend, even if you’re already 10 minutes behind schedule.
And most importantly, took one second to realize what’s you’re doing right now will be something you will reflect back on 1000’s of times throughout your lifetime and it’s these ordinary moments that seem so extra-ordinary years from now.
But, what’s sad is it will take many of you to experience near-tragedy before you ever realize that you have the power, right-now, to….
- Turn an ordinary moment into an extra-ordinary moment.
- Because I can promise you one thing, it’s these moments that your son will remember the rest of his life.
- It’s the time spent with his Dad that’s most important.
And to be honest, I started BaseballThinkTank to force you to think about this game differently. And I can say with 100% certainty that this is the most important message I’ve ever written….and the advice that I’m about to give you is 20 years of experience working with pitchers from Little League –MLB and watching how “NOT TO DO IT.”
So, my advice to you is…
- Instead of focusing on the results, focus on the process.
- It’s never really about the results in this game, because you can’t control the results, your son can’t control the results.
If YOU REALLY WANT TO do everything in YOUR POWER to help your son to succeed…DO THIS:
Teach your son it’s never about the results, results are out of his control. It’s 100% about how he responds to failure that will separate him from everyone else.
And the same applies to Life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t claim to be Dr. Phil. Heck, if I had that genetics for a mustache like that, well I’d be in TV or Hollywood myself.
It’s just that I made a promise to myself, long before I ever heard the nurse with the strong Cajun accent say…
“This baby boy’s got orange hair.”
That I would do two things…
1. Never praise the results because my little man Rex can’t control the results, only the process.
2. Always praise the intent. Because the intent of the activity is 100% controllable by Rex.
And you want to know what I’ve learned?
When you do this you’re putting your son in a Win-Win situation and even better-you start to build a confident young man…
A son that WANTS NOTHING MORE than to hang out and spend time with his Dad.
And in the process…
- You’ll not only build confidence but an undying love for the game of baseball built around memories of him and his Dad.
- You’ll eliminate the Dad-Son confrontation that destroys relationships and forces young kids to get burnt out on the game of baseball.
And finally you’ll understand …
Why not to get caught up in the results, and why it can be life-changing after you learn to focus on the process!
So, as I type the final word of this message to you, I’m heading home to pretend to be 4 years old for most of the day. I’ll be dressed as an evil villain, as a healthy Spider Man and his partner “Panty Girl” try to save the world. Please don’t be offended by the other super-hero, it’s my 6 year old daughters character named by her brother Rex. Don’t label me sexist.
But, in the end it’s amazing how events like this can change the way you view ordinary days and make you conscious of what’s really important in Life.
And I can’t say I’ve ever been prouder than when each and every time, as Rex was asked by each of his his 7 different nurses and countless doctors the same question over and over….
“Rex, what are you doing to do when you get home?”
His answer was always….
“Play baseball with my Dad.”
So, it brings me to this point. You’re job is simple…
Praise the INTENT, not the results.
Trust what you FEEL,
P.S: Here’s a video that I sent out on Father’s Day that should help you….Enjoy and make the most out of today because you never know what tomorrow may bring!