Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Introversion is not a bad thing

Good morning! It's time for the southern adventure. Over the next two weeks, the team plays ten games in the south and I leave today. As their biggest fan, I have two large suitcases to make it through the games. Since the south is as cold as the north, I needed a very large suitcase just to bring my coats. That's minus 20 degrees coat, 30-50 degrees coat, and light weight jacket, hand and feet warmers....heavy gloves, light gloves, hat, hood, scarves, heavy socks, blanket, and so on.

Why so much? Well, if you look at the forecast, the weather is going to be cold! After spending two of the three Texas games in frigid weather with my 30-50 degree coat, I realized that I have to be prepared for anything.

After all, I went from being Bullpen mom to Starter mom back to Bullpen mom in a manner of weeks. And all of this is because of weight lifting and a sore elbow. Rats!

Why is BPM so sad? Well, this means that I no longer know when he will enter a game and therefore am stuck (probably literally) to me oh-so-frosty bleacher seat for all of the games until the bitter end.

Yesterday, the big kid had a meeting with the Czar. The coach complimented him on his 5 pitches on Sunday and asked how he was doing and what he wanted his role to be on the team.

Here is what he should have said: "I want to start. Only start. I am a starter not a bullpen guy. I have the speed and stuff to mow down any team in front of me. When facing a foe, you punch them in the mouth. I am a mouth puncher. So, start me!"

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Here is what he said: "I am doing all that I can do to rehab and am feeling better every day. I want to make an impact on the team and want the ball. If on the mound, I will do all that I can to finish the job given to me."

I wanted to say "weenie!", but did not. After all, he has to play politics and appeal to this guy's ego. Therefore, he plays the game....and the game is not just baseball.

The coach was complimentary and said that he would be one of the first guys to get the ball. Yet, he would not start him over his freshman recruits who continue to struggle with command and velocity. Talk about political moves.

I guess this is what life is all about. It is not necessarily the best qualified who are hired and get the jobs. Rather, it is the person who is favored by the head of the company or coach.

Over the past few weeks, I have sent him a number of articles on introverts. He is one of them. After reading them, he seemed relieved and said "Now I know that I am not nuts. The guys are always saying that I have an odd personality. But I don't. I am an introvert."

That's right. And as such, you may seem aloof, but you are quiet. That's it. Quiet. You think and process. You are comfortable around one or two people rather than a crowd. There is nothing wrong with you. Embrace who you are. (Read Quiet by Susan Cain....thanks to Ice for the suggestion).

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And he has, as he reads more about introverted athletes, their work ethic, and their success. I believe that this has been an eye opener for him as there is a label for his inner thoughts and personality. Here is a link about introverted athletes. There is come comfort knowing that he is not a strange guy. However, over the years, he has been chastised for being a psycho or weird. I have always known him as a funny, self deprecating, passionate guy.

As an athlete, he does not care about what they think but about his performance. He can train alone and will be seen in the locker room exercising and strengthening his core and game. This is not uncommon for introverted guys just ask Larry Bird. With that said, a coach needs to understand each player and their quirks and idiosyncrasies. I don't believe that any of these coaches get it, but I am hopeful that one day, in the near future, a coach will find him and embrace the differences and actually encourage them.

And now, I must pack the thermal underwear.

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