I’ve been meaning to write about this for several days, but travels and school demands have kept me at bay the last couple of weeks. This is regarding something I got to experience the weekend prior at my son’s first baseball tournament of the season. It has to do with guts and mental toughness. Down in Georgia, we get the baseball and softball seasons going early. Practice for travel teams usually kicks off full time after the first of the year, with the first tournaments by late February to early March. My son’s travel team, South East Baseball, played its first tournament the weekend before last in temperatures that were clearly not baseball weather. As his coach said, there’s a reason Spring Training is in Florida.
Anyway, we were out at the ballpark for many hours on Saturday and Sunday. For us parents, it was ridiculous cold. It felt unnatural to be there with my winter coat, sock hat, hand-warmers, gloves, etc. But while us parents were there freezing our tails off, our boys were out there playing as if the cold didn’t phase them. Game after game, they would take the field and play there best and won game after game. By day two and championship play, the temperature and wind chill tanked. Yet, our guys were still out there staging an awesome come-back to win the tournament and be the only undefeated team in our brackets. These boys didn’t wine, they did not come looking for their hoodies, they just got out there and played their best. It was fun to watch the character of these guys and their mental toughness to just gut it out and finish the tournament. They had their eyes on the goal and stayed fired up to finish what they set out to do.
The other day, I ran across a quote from Bill Russell, which said, “Concentration and mental toughness are the margins to victory.” That’s exactly what I saw on display. These boys concentrated and had the mental toughness to finish and drive to victory. I believe this holds true with anything in life, not just in a baseball tournament. In life we are constantly facing obstacles in pursuit of our goals. It may not be the cold weather, but could be any number of things that can try to slow you down. In order to obtain that goal and victory, requires mental toughness and concentration. Know what it is you want, set your mind on that goal and go for it.
God’s Word tells us over and over to not fear and to be strong and courageous. This requires mental toughness to continue driving forward. As I’ve said before, Always Forward and never back. Know what it is you want to achieve and set your mind and actions in motion to achieve that goal. Your character shows when you set your actions in motion toward a goal. If you let things slow you down, such as the cold at this tournament, you will find it very difficult to succeed. Keep driving with the mental toughness to succeed and you will.