Sometimes, the stitches align just right and the wind breathes at just the right speed in just the right direction. Sometimes, the right quick-twitch of the right muscles activate the launch of the hips and hands at just the right time and maybe, just maybe, all these things were in time with the recognition of the right pitch to match the swing and if we are fortunate, the bat meets up with its square dance partner and bounces off that stick at just the right angle to optimal launch and in that moment, day/season/life changing moments can take place. Call it preparation meeting opportunity.
I coach a 12u team in the OKKIDS Shortgrass League. We found ourselves in the one-loss bracket battling back to the last day. If we win the semi-final game against Sentinel, we earn a spot at Regionals in two weeks. We hadn’t beaten Sentinel all summer. In fact, they had thumped us pretty good twice. The 3rd loss was just 3 days prior to semi-finals. After leading the entire game, they snuck in a one drive up the middle and scored two to beat us 5-4.
This semi final game went back and forth until we found ourselves in a hole in the final inning down by 2. Our 9 hole hitter is up and although he is ox strong, he has struggled with consistent contact. Upwards of multiple plate appearances per game he can be observed walking back to the dugout after a strike out. If you observe him though, you seem kid that makes it hard to tell if he just won the lottery or just let his momma down. He has one of the best attitudes during competition I’ve ever been around. It’s infectious and its a credit to his supportive mother and father who sit together at every contest, encourage the team, never bring a negative to the park, have their son in full dress uniform on time to the games. The kind of parents and kid you wish you had ten sets of them on the team, inconsistent contact or not. He is the mos coachable kid I’ve ever instructed. He answers all suggestions with “yes, sir.”
With his poor season average facing the arm he was facing and seeming a situation of the breaks beating the boys, things did not look favorable for us.
Sun shinned a lil brighter just after his two strike hammer angled up deep left, I quit watching it fly from my first base coach’s box as it passed over the 3rd baseman. It was a no-doubter and I wanted to watch my hitter’s delight as he came by me.
We have hit several home runs this summer. Each time, the team celebrates the homer when the hitter gets home.
This time though, it looked like the team celebrated the teammate. The long ball propelled us to three straight run-rule wins up through the one-loss bracket. We won the whole thing, the league and the tournament.
through all the adversity he has endured this summer, he walks tall with an attitude to be an example to everyone.
A great attitude is the best preparation of all. Of course, when the biggest of opportunities was in front of him, he was ready.
I’ve never been happier for a kid.