The Coach

Today was a beautiful April day, a cloudless blue sky. 
The kind of day you pray for walking out on a cold December day. 
Bundled up, the cold air biting your face, you pray for a day like today. 
The sun is warm, the black flies have not yet made their appearance. 
You want to be outside to just enjoy, 
Because soon it will be so hot you will be praying for December.

Today was the first day of T-ball, baseball without the pitching.
In a non-competitive way we teach our children how to play. 
Baseball is called the American pastime. 
I am a coach for my daughter's team: The Athletics. 
While working with the other coaches 
I began to realize we are preparing them for so much more. 
Today's lessons were how to throw and how to field a ground ball. 
Watching them throw, each one on a different path to physical and mental maturity. 
Some throw with confidence and authority, 
others more timidly, some on target, others astray. 
Point with your glove, step into the throw and let it go. 
Some get it right away, others need practice, 
some are frustrated, others laugh at their own mistakes. 
The ball is like life, the sport has been called The Game of Life. 
Each skill acquired on handling the ball is skill for handling life. 
Life, point where you want to go, step into it, and let go.

Fielding a ground ball should be easy, it’s coming right towards you,
all you need to do is scoop it up, and you have captured the ball. 
Life isn't easy, and neither are ground balls. 
You see it coming, you get in position and just as you are about to field the ball, 
it takes a funny bounce, not quite what you were expecting. 
Before you know, it bounced over your glove, and through your legs. 
You groan, oh no, your team mates yell, 
the batter is rounding first and you have to go. 
You chase the ball, finally catching up you grab it, and try to remember, 
point the glove, step into it, and let it go. 
You've never thrown the ball so far, your arm aches. 
If you are lucky, no one scored. 
You walk back to your position, and hope the next guy hits it someplace else. 
But you promise you'll be ready should the ball come your way.

David Gray