My Mental Game Was Taught By a 10 Year Old

My Mental Game Was Taught By a 10 Year Old
With baseball season here, I figure it's time to tell a story of my favorite athlete of all times. I have a lot of people in this sport I love as my own family. But, one disc golfer I love the most is my focal point of my story. 

A few years ago my youngest decided he wanted to play Baseball. I never played any sports of any sort. In fact, when my oldest son played Baseball when he younger wanted his mom to coach. Because "Dad doesn't know" That's a whole other story. 

Sam played his entire first year without hitting but one single ball. He was never discouraged. In fact, Sam would strike out, look over at me and his mother and smile, shrug and move on. 

The next year Sam improved a little but still only hit a few balls. He would still shrug, smile and go back to the dugout. 

The third year, it's the final game. Sam has had a much better year. Bases are loaded and it's the final inning. Score is 11-7, dodgers leading. Sam has a chance to tie it up and bring home a win. 

Strike one

His mom and I are almost in tears with anxiety. 

Ball one

Lisa is literally about to claw a hole into my shoulder.

SMACK. No, not Lisa hitting me, the ball. It flies DEEP into the outfield. all 3 bases make it in while Sam is rounding 3rd. He takes a chance and tries to beat the ball home. Right at home base he gets tagged out. He tells the kid who tagged him out "Good catch!" Pats him on the shoulder and goes back to the dug out. 

Game over, season over. 

In the car I expected Sam to be broken up a little. "how you feeling buddy?" 

"Good, I smashed that ball Dad. Did you see it?" 

I say "Of course I did Sam. Are you upset you didn't get the game tied up?" 

He laughs and says "No, I will get more chances next season"

Last year he had a serious improvement in his game and was a competitor all season. 

Sam had taught me more about player etiquette as a small child than I've learned any entire lifetime before that. It's stuck with me every single game of disc golf I've played. 

He's never been a natural athlete. Nor am I. He's pressed forward failure after failure with a smile. That's hard for me to do but I try my hardest. 

Even more importantly is how he treats everyone else. Sam puts everyone else before himself in the sport and out. He cares about how they play and how they feel above his own game. 

Sam will cheer on his opponent when he recognizes a great play. 

That's everything I want and try to be in this sport. I hope the same thing for all of my fellow disc golfer. 
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