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The Inspiration Right in Front of You

It’s about becoming betters as baseball players, as coaches, as young men, as future husbands and fathers. It’s why I take so much pride when a former player asks me to officiate their wedding. Coaching may ultimately be judged on wins and losses, but I won’t let that define me.

I’m big on inspiration. That’s pretty obvious because it’s right there in the title of my blog. Knowing how important I believe inspiration is-it’s almost comical to me how often I miss the inspiration that is right in front of me. I typically have to laugh out loud (literally) when sources of inspiration hit me that have been there the whole time!

Part of the the way I make my living is through baseball lessons. Because I’m a college baseball coach in Texas we don’t typically have a need for a facility that has much more than a roof on it for the occasional rain in the winter and early spring; so the cold of winter (keep in mind cold is relative to what you are used to) tends to be something you can’t really escape from. With that in mind, I usually don’t plan on my lessons holding up during cold streaks like we’re having now where it’s 25 degrees outside. However, this season has been different. Over the years that I’ve been doing lessons I have begun to be paired up with young men that have a tremendous passion not just for baseball, but for succeeding and excelling at the sport. Every day that I show up at the field I’m excited to work with these young men that range in age from 10 to 17 because they show up excited and motivated themselves.

Every day that I show up at the field I’m excited to work with these young men that range in age from 10 to 17 because they show up excited and motivated themselves.

Today, two young men came out to work in 25 degree weather bundled up and ready to go. Both made huge strides in what we’ve been working on lately. Today wasn’t just a typical work day, I believe they left the field better than when they showed up. I think they made those strides because of their mentality. To come out and work through temperatures below freezing on the last day of Christmas break takes a level of dedication that I wonder if I had at that age. I believe that dedication is what led to the break through these young men had despite the conditions.

I look at that mentality and I am inspired. I’m inspired by their fortitude, their desire to improve, and their mental capacity in the midst of difficult circumstances and surroundings.

I’m inspired daily and I rarely recognize it for what it is. I keep coming back to help young men as individual lessons and as a team because I want to help them succeed. They aren’t just a means to MY end, they are my end (what I am striving for) and I want to the be a means to their end. They aren’t here to serve me, I’m here to serve them.

It’s not just about, or even primarily about, championships and wins. It took me a while to understand but it’s about improving. It’s about becoming betters as baseball players, as coaches, as young men, as future husbands and fathers. It’s why I take so much pride when a former player asks me to officiate their wedding. Coaching may ultimately be judged on wins and losses, but I won’t let that define me.

I will draw inspiration from my relationships with the young men that I see, be it weekly or daily. I don’t need a moving story on a television show or a book by a critically acclaimed author to bring inspiration into my life once every few months. I can see it in the people I’m around. I can see it in what they go through, where they are headed, and their willingness to work to get there.

Photo by Jon Eckert on Unsplash @joneckert

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