Updated: Jun 14, 2019
I spend many hours this time of year watching high school baseball games in an effort to find good baseball players to recruit. Today, I spent my afternoon at a couple of the less privileged high schools in the area.
The weather was dreary, the quality of play was poor, the coaching was dreadful, and the field conditions were even worse.
I was torn. I was both saddened, and extremely grateful.
I was saddened because of how clearly neglected the teenagers on the field were. Their coaches were ill-equipped and clearly incapable of helping them improve their skills. And based on the behavior of said coaches, I find it highly unlikely that they are preparing the kids with tools that will help them become better men. That last part might be slightly judgmental (that just doesn't look right...and neither does judgemental, but the dictionary accepts both spellings), but I'd like to think I have pretty sound judgement in this area.
I was grateful for a multitude of reasons, and I left both games, after watching a combined total of 7 outs, and I only watched that many outs because there was only 1 player on 4 teams with the necessary skill set to play college baseball (he hit an inside the park homerun in his first at bat, and if he was the lead off hitter for the visiting team, I would've left after that).
I am grateful for the men who coached me from T-Ball through college. Greg Miller, Dave Peterson, Matt Gordon, and Fred Ludwig are a few that stand out above the rest, as well as Patrick McCarthy and his wife Katie Beth who took good care of me when I moved 2270 miles (I Google Mapped it) away from home to play out my college eligibility in Tennessee.
I am grateful for the people who put in the effort to make sure our home field was well manicured (as a coach, I now know how much work goes in to that).
And I am grateful for the coaches I currently work with, at West Valley College, who strive daily to give our players the best experience possible, prepare them for baseball and for life, all in an effort to help them become great men.
My takeaway from today is bigger than baseball...as are most things in life.
I was reminded how important it is to count my blessings. Complaining gets you nowhere, and leaves you either all alone, or surrounded by other complainers.
With few exceptions, there are countless people who are worse off than you. Don't complain about how tough your life is, don't complain about what you don't have. Find something to be grateful for, even on your worst days.
A grateful person who has nothing will lead a more fulfilling life than the complainer who has everything.
Be the light in a dark place.
Count your blessings.