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Little League Baseball: Lessons in Health and Recruitment

Posted Apr 20 2010 12:00am

I have been accused of stretching conversational associations too far.  In fact, friends have said, “Where did you come up with that…we were talking about (such and such) and you totally out of left field said (such and such)…I don’t get it.”  Then after explaining myself, they see some connections with the  line of thought but usually say, “That is quite a jump in logic”.

Oh well.

So out of left field, I bring to you the topic: Little League Baseball: Lessons in Health and Recruitment.

My boys play Little League baseball and I love baseball too.  I have the privilege of coaching one of my sons in swing league aka coaches pitch the ball.  The boy’s ages range from 5-7 y.o.  and the rules state that if they do not hit the ball by the fourth pitch, they must use a tee.  Well, we never use the tee. The parents have made that clear – “He was in tee ball last year, we want him to hit live pitching.”  And there are no strike outs or walks.

OK

So it’s swing-miss, swing-miss, swing-miss, swing-miss (batter spins around and helmet flies off) swing-miss, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, -(Of course before each swing is the pitch of the ball and before each pitch of the ball is an admonition to the fielders to “stay alert and get ready!”)swing, swing, swing; miss, miss, miss, miss, missmissmissmisssssssss, mmm…hit!

Home Run!

Now, once the ball is hit, the batter can only run one base at a time.  Only singles in swing league – that is the rule.  Well, on occasion, a zealous lead-off man gets a double.  Ya’ know if the kid wants to go for two while all the fielders dash off to scrum around the ball, we give it to him.

This goes on for about 50 minutes.  Parents, grandparents and siblings  sit in lawn chairs or stand hugging the fence line cheering and encouraging their lad.  And the boys have so much fun swinging that bat, hitting that ball, running like mad, throwing that ball and every great once in awhile a fly ball is hit and even in a greater once in awhile the fly ball is caught.  Joy for all.

Well, you might say, “If this blog is about health and recruiting, what does all this baseball talk have to do with the topic.

Nothing.

Unless you consider this.

Being in good health has everything to do with having joy in our lives.  And joy has everything to do with seeing others do well and succeed.  For the five year old success is hitting the ball (even after 20 whiffs) or running the bases.

In recruiting, success and joy meet at a place where it is realized that people can be honest and sincere, where professionals can describe and demonstrate competence, a time when all of us can sense humor and allow mistakes.

Children typically do not hit themselves on the head with the bat because they whiff, they stand in the box (usually with a smile especially if the coach smiles at them) and take another swing.

That is what we do.  We keep swinging and enjoy the process.  At Northview Health Solutions, success is about living out  joy and joy is about being in the game.

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