Growing up I looked forward to playing baseball every spring. I loved the game and it was during these times that I learned many valuable lessons that I have carried with me through the years. One of those lessons came from a terrible batting slump I experienced the first part of the season. The words of wisdom that I gained from that point in time were told to me by my coach,”You are only one swing away.”
Those words were attached to a very valuable lesson that my coach was trying to relay to me. At the time I was extremely discouraged and frustrated with my performance and could not seem to break this batter’s curse. That is when coach explained the rather simple, but oh so very true principle of life.
Coach knew I was better than I was being at the plate. He knew I could do much more and this is why he worked with me every day one-on-one after practice. It was his desire to see me break through and get back to hitting like I could.
When he realized that it wasn’t really my technique or my eyes (yes, my parents had my eyes checked…i was that bad) he clued me in on the secret of “One swing away.” This secret is a simple one and the principle of it is that it only takes one swing to produce a hit. Once this is done, the curse is then broken.
You see, it was all in my head. My eyes were not out of focus but my self perception was. For some reason I started the year off with a few strikeouts and I let this dictate the next couple of months. His encouragement helped me break that mind-set and viola, I was back to hitting again!
This is just like life in the fact that sometimes it only takes one swing to change your course for the better. Many times we get frustrated and never get back up and take another swing when that next one may just be the one to break the curse and pull you out of your slump in life. Don’t let that be you!
- Check the focus of your thoughts – Just as you would get your eyes checked, spend time checking the focus of your thoughts. Are you speaking defeat before you even step to the plate every day or are you calling out victory before the pitch?
- Ask family or friends – Be selective with this one as not all family members or good friends are best at giving advice. If there is one you respect and that can offer an unbiased opinion, seek their input about your situation. Sometimes just having a view from another provides the clarity you need.
- Hire a coach – This can be a life coach, business coach, or one similar. The object here is to just get some advice from professionals. If there is one in your area of trouble, then hire them. This will be a little out-of-pocket expense but it could be invaluable in the long run.
- Get Back to Training Camp – Go back to training and maybe even get back to basics. A lot of the times a slump can be broken by working on the basics of your issue.
- Take a vacation – Yes, take some time away. I know it is hard to do especially if you are having trouble but many times this will help you relax and think better. Take a “Me-cation” where it is just you and maybe some books. Just get out and get away.
- Check in with God – This is the most important one of them all. Understand that God has every answer to every problem. There is nothing that will surprise nor stump Him. The great news here is that He is happy to help. You just have to ask.
I have been able to use this throughout life when things seem to not always go as planned. When times seem to be full of ideas or goals falling to pieces. I will think to myself, “I am just one swing away, one good idea, one right decision from success!”
That is what I am encouraging you to do also. A slump does not have to be long-lived. So don’t stop just because you are going through a bad period and think the game is not for you. NO! Pick yourself up and get back up to the plate. Once you do, SWING AWAY!
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