“If you don’t start hussling down that first base line I’m going to have you running sprints until your legs fall off!” This was just one of many quotes that could be heard numerous times from my baseball coaches over the years which is the reason why I give baseball credit for my success today. I believe baseball is the tool necessary for success not only in competition but in life in general for the way it instills discipline in its participants. One moment is vividly engraved in my brain about how baseball personally taught me discipline.
It was 7:45am as I heard my alarm clock blaring for me to get up for school on a Monday morning. Apparently I had hit the snooze button several times because school started at 7:30am. I jumped out of bed and started hurling laundry over every square inch of my bedroom and finally found something halfway decent to wear. I was in a rush not so much because I was worried about my classes, but because my baseball coach had recently established a new attendance policy for classes. If any teacher reported a player tardy then that player would have to run for the duration of the next practice. The only hope that I had was that I was an honor roll student and I didn’t have a trend of being late for class so I was hoping my teacher would let me slide just this one time. I didn’t turn out to be that lucky as I should have guessed, having a teacher with a name like Ms. Moody. That name fit her like a glove.
When I arrived at practice after school, I didn’t even bother with warm-ups or stretching. I just dropped my bat-bag off in the dug-out and proceeded to run without being told to do so by my coach. As practice finally ended two hours later, I sluggishly hobbled back to the dug-out to get my bat-bag and head home when my coach yelled at me from a distance, “What were you running for?” The rest of the team was laughing hysterically because they knew why I was running. However, the coach had no idea in the world. He just thought it would be funny to see how long I would keep running. Apparently Ms. Moody hadn’t reported my tardiness after all so I ran for two hours for no reason. Below average marathon runners can run marathons in less than four hours. I had just run for two so that gave me an idea of how many miles I had just run. Besides all the wasted running I gained a valuable tool in the form of discipline. To this day I have the discipline to be on time almost everywhere I go. Beyond that, discipline is a tool that I use today whenever I sacrifice to achieve a goal. I give credit to my participation in baseball.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.