Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

Baseball time v. on-time v. late

Lenten Reflections #5

I married a prompt guy. He’s the kind of person who arrives to doctor’s appointments, work, and our kids’ games and practices early. Way early.

There are two qualities he possess that are the key contributors to his affinity for timeliness and abhorrence to tardiness.

  1. He was reared with a deep respect of time, especially other people’s time.
  2. He is a baseball player.

I’ll explain:

  1. Respect – Respect of time is a clear reflection of your respect of others. My husband is a loving guy who is always thinking of others and never wants to impose on anyone, especially by being late.
  2. Baseball – In baseball, timing is paramount to everything – swinging, pitching, catching, diving, stealing, and especially–when arriving to a game or practice.

Over the years our kids have always played sports and with each sport, every coach had their planned arrival times. For lacrosse and soccer, 6:00 pm practice meant it started at 6:00 pm. For tennis and swim 15 minutes early for practice was requested. Then came baseball. 15 minutes early was expected, but really 15 minutes before the expected 15 minutes was even better. All this promptness and prep made for a tumultuous timeline, and a lot of math.

Here’s an example:

Our son’s baseball team is in charge of covering the field with a tarp in anticipation of rain. So a few times a week, the players have “tarp duty”.

Coach tells the players tarp duty starts at 7:00 pm. Our son insists we leave at 6:30 for a five-minute ride to school. “They’ll be finished by 6:50, so we have to leave early” he says. He was right! Luckily we did arrive 25 minutes early because tarp duty was over and we were LEAVING THE SCHOOL at 7:01 pm. Why would they ask to meet at 7:00 pm when we were rolling out one minute later? Because arriving early is the key to a successful start.

According to Dr. Robert Bell, a mental toughness coach,

A simple way to instill trust, discipline, and excitement is to address the difference between arriving and starting practice.

ARRIVING to practice or a game, takes on three levels. Coaches are able to connect with players on an emotional level by checking in; the players are able to prepare physically with warming up and stretching; and players prepare themselves mentally by conversing with teammates.

STARTING on the other hand, says Dr. Bell is when the team should be “focused and dialed in”.

Once the start of practices becomes commonplace and energetic, the start of games, matches, and meets will also become more consistent. And who doesn’t want that? If the arrival has been taken care of, chances favor that the starting practice will be effective as well.


Bottom line. Arrive early (or marry someone who is a good influence). You’ll be glad you did.

Play ball!

The late author Eric Jerome Dickey said,

“Early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable!”.

On faith and fitness…

Today combine your efforts-say an Our Father and hold a high plank.

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