It’s Not About Baseball, Guys

As the coach of my son’s travelling baseball team, I came up with a mantra of sorts that represents what I want us to be as a team:

Fearless, Fast, and Focused.

Catchy, right?  Let me break it down for you.

FEARLESS

I heard a story once that before every at-bat, baseball legend Ted Williams would quietly whisper to himself, “Ted [bleeping] Williams, the greatest [bleeping] hitter who ever lived.”  It wasn’t about being cocky, it was about believing in himself and reminding himself of what he wanted out of life.

“A man has to have goals for a day, for a lifetime. And that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.’”

I tell the boys on my team that when they’re in the batter’s box, they’re in charge.  It doesn’t matter what the count is, how good the opposing pitcher is, whether the game is on the line, what the weather is like, etc….Nothing is going intimidate them. They’re going up there with every expectation of getting on base.

FAST

Ok, so this is really about being aggressive, but that would have killed the alliteration thing I’ve got going on here.

The main point is to do your best in every situation.  And once you’ve done your best, do better than your best.

SWING HARD AND RUN FAST! 

BE GREEDY!

One base isn’t enough! And the other team isn’t going to just give you a second one, you’re going to have to steal it from them!  Hey, turns out two bases isn’t enough either so steal a third!

 GREED IS GOOD!

I'm just talking about baseball now...

I’m just talking about baseball now…

FOCUSED

How many outs are there? 

How many runners are on base?

What has the umpire’s strike zone been like?

What should you be doing right now?  

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WHAT’S COMING NEXT?

I tell the boys that I want them to be their own coaches.  I don’t want for me or any of the other coaches to have to yell out the answers to those questions from the dugout.  Because what if their next coach doesn’t do that?  Or what if the next coach does do that, but realizes he doesn’t have to with you because you’re already a half-step ahead of him?

Or

What if nobody is watching you?

Or

What if none of your coaches are around?

Or

What if you’re not even playing baseball?

Fearless, fast, and focused is how I want my boys playing the game.  It’s also how I want them living their lives.

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Be Who You Want To Be

“Be All You Can Be”

-U.S. Army recruiting slogan (1980-2001)

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re either a child of mine or you’re someone old enough to remember the above slogan.  It was the recruiting slogan used by the U.S. Army from 1980 to 2001.

I was never in the Army, but I have watched a lot of TV over the years.  So maybe that old commercial was the inspiration behind the question I always ask my kids when they do or say something that gets them into some kind of trouble.

“Is That The Person You Want To Be?”

– Derek Rempfer parenting slogan (1994-The Day I Die)

I’m always encouraging my kids to look at every decision they make through the eyes of the person they want to be.  And I try to do the same myself.

What kind of person do I want to be?

What kind of father, husband, son, and brother?

What kind of Christian, friend, and co-worker?

What do I want to accomplish?

How to I want the world to view me?

What do I want people to say about me when I leave the room?  What about when I leave this life?

I think the answer to all these questions is the same…and it’s rather obvious:

Charles Ingalls

Hell, I've already got the hair for it!

I want to be this guy!

The other night my daughter Chloe turned the tables on me.  I was being a little cranky when I saw her making herself a late dinner shortly after I had cleaned the kitchen and put all the leftovers away.  She reacted to my grumpiness with a cheerful,

“DAD, THAT’S NOT WHO YOU ARE!”

I laughed and asked her, “No?  Well, who am I then?”

And she said, “You’re a happy person who likes making other people happy.”

Tell you what…that daughter of mine is pretty wise.  I don’t know if that’s exactly who I am right now, but it’s definitely who I want to be.

I hope that the Derek Rempfer I want to be is coming through in these blog entries.  All I ever want to be is “better.”  Better this year than last.  Better this day than last.  Better this moment than last.

I am a work in progress, but I’m doing my best.  And like that great American Army general said…

“If a man does his best, what else is there?”

-Gen. George S. Patton

General George S. Patton

General George S. Patton

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