Just keep pitching

It’s one of those moments that can be painful for a parent to watch. My son was called up to pitch a Winterball game. He had pitched a third of an inning a couple of weeks ago and struck out the batter he faced. But today, the pitches just weren’t finding the strike zone. He walked one batter, then another, and another. To his manager’s credit, he didn’t pull him from the mound. He let him pitch.

By the time the other team had gone through the order, he walked in six runs — which isn’t unusual in a division where kids are learning to pitch for the first time. But my son didn’t get upset. He didn’t give up. He kept his composure, and he kept pitching. For that, I am proud of him.

There are many times when things don’t go our way. Our notebook crashes in the middle of a demonstration. We lose our train of thought in the middle of a talk. We accidentally knock over a glass of ice tea in the middle of business dinner, and it drips into the lap of our best client. In those moments, we feel like the pitcher who just walked in a run. We stand alone and vulnerable.

When these things happen — and they happen to all of us at some point — we just need to keep our composure and keep pitching. A few apologies and a small joke at our expense (as well as an offer to pay the dry cleaning bill in the case of the ice tea) can smooth things over.

Most people are forgiving, because they have been through their own embarrassing situations before. No one got down on my son for his performance on the mound today. He earned respect for how he hung in there and composed himself.

My son gave me a wonderful lesson today. When the breaks don’t go our way, don’t give up. Just keep pitching.