As I went through my baseball playing career, I developed a sense of calm when things got crazy. Sometimes things were really wild and impacted my actions negatively.
I remember playing at University of Texas against Houston Street and the rest of the Longhorns. The fans had bullhorns outside the outfield fence and sat on top of rented vans to yell at us.
LSU fans played nice with the families and girlfriends of the visiting team and then got to know their names. They then heckled the players with the names of their families and girlfriends.
This was a little unnerving, being in such wild atmospheres. I was a pitcher, needing to keep cool under pressure, and not get wild. Sometimes I won the internal battle and was able to remember the fundamentals that I developed playing catch with my dad. Sometimes I got distracted.
Either way, all of it was a learning experience. I never played in Yankee Stadium, but I have been in some pretty hostile environments in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic & the minor leagues.
Keeping a sense of calm helped me to execute the pitches I needed to execute, yet even then most of it was left up to chance after I threw the ball. Maybe the umpire misses the call. Maybe the catcher drops the ball! Maybe the hitter gets jammed but gets an infield single.
What can you ultimately control? Your breath and how you respond to life. Yes you can create the pitch you want, form an intention or goal, but then it is up to you and life as to how it will all play out.
I've been able to get over not reaching the big leagues. My agent last week told me something like 8% of all players drafted into the MLB ranks make a career out of baseball. Most move on after 2-5 years into something else.
Me? I'm enjoying my time after my playing days.
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