Put Me In, Coach!

Diane T - Put Me In Coach

On Monday night after supper, because our co-ed recreational softball season begins soon, my husband and I went out to throw ball. For some reason unknown to me, Tony decided this week to change the way I throw.

“Stand sideways. Don’t bend your arm. When you release the ball, flick your wrist. And follow through. That’s really important. Follow through so that you almost touch the ground on the other side.”

“That’s so many directions to follow,” I whined, “so many things to think about all at once.”

“Don’t worry. It’ll become second nature at some point. I promise.”

And we practiced over and over as the little blonde boys next door watched. As they helped my husband find the balls I threw into their yard, into the dense periwinkle surrounding their playhouse.

This would be so much easier, I thought, if instead of changing everything, I just threw the ball the way I wanted and he fixed things afterwards. I’ve been throwing this way for at least five years now and no one’s complained yet. Sometimes they laugh, but no one’s ever really complained.

Tony Bear (Please don’t tell him I told you his nickname!) was so patient with me. Over and over we threw. Again and again he repeated the directions for optimum throwing results.

“Thing is,” he said, “that was a good one, by the way, thing is, once you get this down, you’ll never forget it. You’ll have it for life.” And we kept throwing until darkness fell around us.

And today I am very, very sore. In new places, I ache. Places he predicted I’d hurt. “If you throw the way I’m teaching you, in the morning you’ll feel it along your back and across your stomach. We should stop now, so you aren’t too sore to practice again tomorrow.”

It’s hard. Re-learning something you’ve done your way for years, if not all your life. Throwing, living, loving, forgiving. Default mode is always MY WAY. To break the habit of “but it’s the way I’ve always done it,” you have to read the new rules over and over. Day in and day out you have to study, recite (maybe even memorize), and practice the directions taught you. Even if it feels awkward at first, maybe even hurts, you have to trust that your parent, teacher, coach, or God, knows what he/she/He is talking about, that they have your best interest at heart.

If you love me, keep my commands. ~ John 14:15

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Diane Tarantini
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  1. Gretchen on May 23, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    I fear I might have pouted if in the same situation as you, as my default. Ah, this post steps all over my ego in the best of ways. Thank you! I think I have to let go a measure of insecurity about failing, too, to try new things, or try old tricks in a new way.

  2. Tara on May 24, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Reminds me of what I say to my husband in frustration sometimes “being a good parent is SOO hard!” It takes consistence and a persistence that on some days I just don’t have the stamina for.

    Love that you’re putting yourself out there and are open to learning new things (or old things in new ways). I think that God smiles every time we take a leap of faith and are willing to grow and to do the work it takes to make it happen. Because he knows we are putting our trust in him for the outcomes.

  3. Diane on May 24, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    “Default mode is always MY WAY.” But I thought THAT was the right way (;o) It sucks sometimes to have to admit that there just MIGHT be a better way, with a much better outcome, beyond my shortsighted ego. But when it comes to God (ok, when it comes to lots of things!), when I give in, and go with the new, it seldom if ever disappoints.
    (And coed softball, girl, you are my inspiration – to come watch, not play (;o) Thanks, Diane, for a post that tells it true!

  4. Diane Tarantini on May 31, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    The thing I love about softball is, it was a gift from God to me. I had NO interest in playing, none. I was the loud-mouth cheerleader on the bench. But one summer, there were several occasions where the team was short a gal and on the brink of forfeiting. The Philippians, that’s our team name–The Phils–would look up in the bleachers at me and say, “Please play?” And I did. The next summer they put me on the roster and the next and the next. After about two games of being the catcher, I found out I LOVE SOFTBALL! I never knew I’d like it. I never knew I’d be decent. But God knew. I love him for giving me softball!!

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