I apologize for not posting sooner, but I had a lengthy meeting in the city...roads were backed up 10 miles for construction....lots of pot holes in the northeast. Naturally, they have to fix them all at once. So, I was on the road too for hours on end....just wanting to get home....
How is Diva? Well, I believe that she is better but not out of the woods yet. She has not vomited since Saturday...whew. I am particularly happy about that, especially since I kept her in bed with me so that I could monitor her. In the middle of the night on Saturday, I thought that she died. She wasn't moving or breathing. It was a scary few minutes.
On to the big kid in the Midwest. I am going to divide this part of the post into three sections. Before, During, and After.....Here we go.....
As you know, dad and Tink drove his car to Illinois after having it cleaned and detailed and handed it to him with a full tank of gas. The next day, they were to meet for breakfast and he was quiet. "I don't talk on the days that I pitch."
Huh? What? What did you say? What did you not say? Who the heck do you think that you are? Curt Shilling? Cole Hamels? Mariano Rivera? Are we talking diva-like behavior?
I lost it. Seriously folks.....I did not raise a diva or spoiled brat....or did I? let me at him....he will hear me from my back yard to Illinois.
The game started at 6pm, our time and we opened Betty's computer at BP Grandmom's house as we sat at dinner....hmmm....is this right? It is 2-0 at the bottom of the first inning....oh boy. Not a great start. Then I began to look at the stats...an error and multiple strike outs. Nice.
By the third inning, he had thrown 70+ pitches and was destined to leave the game before the 5th inning. When he left, the score was 5-0, he had 7 K's, and a few walks. As I spoke to Dad, he mentioned that he pitched well, but his defense could not keep runners on first base since the catcher could not hold them. The outfielders were not as good as his university's team so balls dropped. Lastly, the team that they played was the best in the league. He actually pitched well despite the stats.
I texted him on Monday and wrote "call me or else". Sheesh....such a threat. Yo ma, really? What's has your knickers in a knot? Well, I will tell you....it was not the game but the diva-like behavior. Soooooo, I let him have it. I sounded like Charley Brown's teacher as I reviewed the way that he was raised and how he is no better than anyone else and how his family has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help him to achieve his dream. Just stating fact....
Then he had had enough and shouted back "you don't understand how nervous I was."
Right. We all get nervous, but a guy is not to forget his manners. Now...enough said.
Now it is time to reflect on the conversation....as I have stated from the very beginning, this blog is to share the journey...good...bad...ugly.....this was ugly and an important part of the story. That is, talent and hard work are essential to achieve any goal, but if you are anxious and your head is not at peace, then the road is all the more difficult. We discovered this on Sunday night.
On the whole, this guy is one of the most terrific people that I know. He has a heart and soul of gold. If you lined up all of the leftys in the world, I would choose my own big kid every time.
With that said, he knows that this year may be his last playing baseball. At the end of May next year, he may be hanging up his cleats....or not.....however, the realty is, this could be his last chance to prove his worthiness to take the step to the next level.
Now I see why he was playing a mute on Sunday. This means so much to him that he is struggling to find a place for the tension. Ok, the kid is forgiven, but he has to know that bad behavior is bad behavior. Also, by trying to focus on a night time start in the morning, this guy began obsessing rather than preparing. So, he needs a better system to preparation. Naturally, I went online and found a you tube about test anxiety. Hey, anxiety is anxiety, so the 5 step process offered on the video makes perfect sense.
Here is a better way to start the focus process. After all, reading about other pitchers and how they prepare is good, but in the long run, he needs his own style. Therefore, he needs to reflect, pray, and figure out what best suits him. I honestly doubt if silence especially around his uber-supportive family is the way to prepare for any game. Although I did read that Curt Shilling ate Ellio's pizza before he started any game. Each person has to have their own routine....but letting the stress creep up on you is not helpful. Sure, I get nervous when I play tennis....
Fade to black.....
There have been a number of matches where I let my nerves get the best of me. Guess what? I lost each one. So, I totally understand why he needs to be in a place of dominance when on the mound. He has to remember that he has the tools, he just needs to sort out how to block out the distractions. Not talking does not do it. In fact, I believe that talking with someone who knows you is the way to go. BUT, this is the big guy that I am writing about....not me.
Oh, well. These are the joys and sorrows of this journey. I hope that he never forgets what he has learned and experienced, because if the ride is over in May, he will have to look back and say 'this was been the most extraordinary experience of my life.' Then he has to say...."I have had a great life so far, I cannot wait for the next chapter of the book. Because....it is only going to get better...."