It’s an early summer afternoon baseball game. Nothing out of the ordinary at first. In the first inning, the Bulldogs batted and didn’t manage to get a run across home plate. In the bottom half of the inning, the Ignite squad put 9 runs on the board. So…out of the gate, our team is down 9 runs.
Time to pack it up, right?
Well…not this day! The Bulldogs scrapped back, scoring 3 runs in the 2nd inning. Then allowing a run. Then hammering in 6 runs to cut the lead to 1. Then the Ignite scored 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th. In the top of the 6th inning, the Bulldogs had opportunities but the Ignite made some good plays, stopping the Dawgs run and ending the game with a 12-11 score.
So the Bulldogs lost. Just another game among what seems like hundreds of games, right? Well…that might be true but there was something different about this game for our kids. To say it has been a rough season would be an understatement. There have been growing pains, getting used to playing together, getting used to the coaches. So this team has only managed to win 3 games this summer. This game was different because, despite the big deficit, they fought back. They worked hard. They were patient at the plate and took good swings. They worked hard on defense, making some game-changing plays in the field that swayed the game into their favor. And despite all of this, they still lost. But there was a lesson to be learned in this particular loss.
The lesson is this…you can’t win EVERY game. It’s not expected and a win is certainly not a given, no matter how good you think you are. You will get beaten and, in some cases, it won’t be pretty. It will be an assault on your ego. It will make you unsure and it will bruise your confidence. But the fact of the matter is, you are defined by how you react AFTER something like this happens. If you have a bad game, the best thing you can do is look past it and work harder. The easy thing to do would be to throw your hands up and accept it. On this day, these 12 boys didn’t do that. They worked hard and they battled back. 9 runs down out of the gate and they didn’t quit. As a parent, that’s really the lesson that you hope they learn from playing ANY sport. Don’t give up and good things happen. Stand up straight, put on your glove and finish the game. Sometimes the spectacular comeback win doesn’t happen. Sometimes you don’t hit the grand slam home run that could’ve won the game. Sometimes, you get a 3-run RBI, sometimes you strikeout. But either way, if you fight hard and comeback against great odds, THAT says something about you and last night, we learned a lot about our boys and our team.
Yesterday our Bulldogs lost a great game against a strong opponent. Of all of the losses this season, despite the fact that the scoreboard had us on the losing end, this one was a win. On this night, our boys stood up straight, put on their gloves and went to work. And I couldn’t have been prouder of all of them.