Mo’Ne Davis is a 13-year-old girl who is taking the Little League World Series by storm. Yes, you read that correctly, she is a female. And she is tossing 70 mph fastballs over the dish while helping her team advance to the Little World Series. Why is this relevant information to you? Well, this small, yet fiercely adorable writer who is constructing this Pulitzer-worthy spectacle was in her shoes once, well her cleats.
I did not make it to the World Series, however I did make Little League 11/12 All Stars for a small baseball program in Reno, Nevada. I learned a lot back in those days (and I’m still physically the same size), I use a lot of those lessons to this day.
This actually stems from a lecture by a coach who asked which part of the ball we should aim for when hitting. I immediately thought
Well, you should obviously aim for the middle, that sweet spot would send that ball to the moon.
No, you aim for the top of the ball, that way you are more than likely to hit the middle.
I’ve always aimed high, in every aspect of life. And in this case, if you end up hitting the ball in the middle, it won’t be because you didn’t try to aim for the top.
Don’t worry what others think.
I’ve never met anyone in my life who has gone by this rule 100%. Someone who says that to you is lying. But you can remind yourself that when someone is making fun of your batting stance (Kevin Youkilis) that they probably peaked in little league, so don’t trip chocolate chip.
You’re a girl, but you’re no different than anyone else.
During stretches once, a coach said
I need three men in the front!
I of course made a joke saying that since I was a girl I obviously did not need to be in the front.
He pulled me aside and said
I realize you’re a girl, I know what you are, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to treat you any differently.
As much as that particular lecture pissed me off, (don’t worry he was like another dad to me, so I let it slide, and he’s way bigger than me) he made a lot of sense. I’m a female in a male-dominated industry, and I hate when I’m treated differently, but I expect the same amount of respect in return.
However, you are exempt from cup-checks.
I don’t believe I need to explain myself here.
There is always someone better out there than you.
You can have the best batting average, the best ERA, the best contract, the best everything. There has and always will be somebody better out there than you. They may not have all of the same qualities as you, but there is always going to be someone out there who has something to offer the world that you can’t. This is not a bad thing, it just reminds you to stay humble and grounded.
You have to play on a team and work together, even if it’s people with you don’t like.
One coach actually put me on the field right next to my little brother. I love my little brother more than life itself, but all we did was argue as kids. It’s okay though, we turned some amazing double plays.
You know you have that annoying person you work with, and that’s unfortunately a part of life. You’re not starting a family with this person, so eight hours a day won’t kill you.
Everything is a learning experience.
When you hang up your cleats whether after Little League, or a professional baseball career, it’s not the end of anything. Even if you say “it’s the end of an era,” that simply means a new one is about to begin.
Every aspect of your life is a learning experience. Even if you accidentally run to third instead of first after you hit the ball (I knew a guy).
Photo: courtesy of ABC News Radio Online