One late July evening, my boys and I were playing around shooting rockets in the air, chasing balls down the street and swatting mosquitoes. My oldest son, was in the front yard, throwing the ball up and trying to hit the ball in mid air. This looked more like golf, then baseball. After multiple suggestions to use the batting tee he declined without conversation. Then, when I told him we were going inside to take a bath and go to bed, he became visibly upset.
He erupted in total frustration because he felt he didn’t have enough time. I attempt to intervene with the words to comfort and redirect his attention. Personally, I was mentally and physically done. “Baby, try hitting off the tee. I know you can hit.” My son quickly responded with, “I don’t want to. The tee is for babies and it doesn’t help me get better.”
Through the crying. I repeated without end, “with practice, you can do this. I know you can do this.” He was still upset and borderline uncontrollable. “I can’t do it.”
“Son, wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up and be great!? You have an amazing Preschool teacher and she is a great teacher, because she practiced and became better. If it were easy everyone would do it.”
He acknowledged my words and I asked him to breath and then to focus. He inhaled and slowly…we watched the air exit his lungs.
I turned to my son and asked him to relax and watch the ball. After each swing, I made sure he was relaxed and breathed. Before each swing he would stand still and wait. The only noise was the wind, our breathing and leaves rustling. Each time, I threw the ball he got better. He improved his contact and his swing became effortless.
My boy looked at me and said, “Dad, I don’t want to go in because I haven’t trained enough.” Later he told my wife, “Mom when I play for the Cardinals, I don’t want them to bring out the tee for me.”
Few days later and after more “training.” This happened…
Regardless of your position, we are in control of two things in our life and career. We can only control our effort and our execution. My son made sure he practiced and fought through the negative images in his head to overcome. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I giving maximum effort?
- What am I doing to ensure my execution is second to none?
In the next coming days and weeks, set out to amaze the haters and surprise yourself by the level of effort you are giving to the task and flawless execution of your goals.