This I Believe

jacob - napoleon/OH/43545, Ohio
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Jacob Funchion

Block Out the Distractions in Your Life

Throughout my baseball career I have been a fairly successful player. With each passing year my skills have seemingly increased as well as my self-confidence. Being very self-confident I came to believe that I was one of the best players in the league. Baseball is a mind game, if you have a positive attitude you’ll play well, but if your attitude becomes negative you won’t play well. Once I got to high school a guy named Bob tested my mental strength it made me realize the mental aspect of the game was a big part in how good my skills and attitude were.

Bob was the coach for my high school baseball team. He was one of those big-bad coaches who thought they knew everything and didn’t take crap from anyone. Even when he is wrong about something he won’t admit it, and will make everyone think that he is right. Nobody has the guts to mess with him; his personality intimidates people too much. Like most coaches, his intimidating personality had a way of getting into your head and cause you to fear him. This was especially the case for me.

My personality is kind of shy and quiet for the most part, so having a coach like Bob was twice as intimidating for me. I tended to take things Bob said to me a little too hard. Every mistake I made seemed to be followed by some type of criticism from Bob, and this wasn’t just your normal criticism either. The way Bob criticized people was by yelling at them, putting them down in some way, and threatening to make them run the next time they screwed up. Since I wasn’t used to this type of coaching, I allowed this criticism to hit me extremely hard. After a while of taking these hits I became scared and my attitude went from positive to negative. It caused me to tell my self that I couldn’t hit a ball or I couldn’t field a grounder. Thinking this way caused me to become inadequate. Every time I stepped on the field I only thought of Bob instead of how to play the game.

After a while I realized how much all this was affecting my playing abilities, I realized how stupid Bob’s criticism really was. Once I realized this I learned to just block out what Bob said to me while I was playing and just focus on the game. Now my self-confidence and skills are right back up to where they used to be. All of this has made me believe that sometimes you need to just block out the Bob in your life and just focus on what’s important.