Kicking around a clean white and black ball on fresh green turf is similar to smashing a tiny, red-stitched, white ball out of the stadium. What?! You probably think I’m either crazy or have never actually watched sports in my entire life. But believe me, the 2 sports ARE similar, just let me explain how in 1 word. Mindset!
Practice: The Dirty Work
To play either of these sports at a high level you’ve gotta have an iron mind and a brain that is wired to never let you give up. You see, these 2 sports are something you have to seriously practice for. In soccer you have to train yourself to get your feet to do what your brain wants. Have you ever tried controlling something with your feet? It’s hard stuff! It takes a lot of discipline to be able to kick the ball around like the professionals do, making it seem so easy and effortless.
Baseball is the same way. Constantly repeating actions like pitching, hitting, and bunting. It takes some serious hand-eye coordination to be able to hit a 100mph fastball. How can these guys even tell if a pitch is going to be a strike or a ball when it’s flying across the plate? It’s just a white blur at the speeds they pitch at, but through practice they are able to figure it out.
Discipline: Consistently Doing the Dirty Work
Accurately controlling and kicking a soccer ball is an art. How long do you think it takes to be able to control a black and white, air-filled ball smoothly? Days? Months? Not even close. Try 10+ years. Lacing up the cleats and hitting that green, perfectly rectangular field every morning is what it takes. These are the guys putting in hours upon hours of practicing kicks, headers, and fancy footwork. The professional athlete mindset is what you need to will yourself out of bed in the morning and get to work, no matter how tired you are.
Likewise, it’s amazing the kind of discipline that goes into being a good hitter. You’re talking batting practices after batting practices throughout the entire year. Hundreds of thousands of repetitions is what you don’t see when that home-run slugger steps up to the plate. The heart and soul he poured into his practices are afterthoughts to people when he’s out there. The mindset it took for him to put in all those hours day in and day out finally pays dividends when he steps out onto the plate while the crowd stands and cheers, knowing he’s their best chance for a comeback.
What About Other Sports?
Lets compare to other sports for a minute. Football, not futbol, requires a lot of practice, of course. But think about it, you have to be a big guy to have a chance at most positions in football. You have to be tall, wide, and just naturally big to have a chance at playing any position like lineman, tight end, linebacker, and running back. If you are 5’8”, all the practice in the world isn’t going to help you when a 350 pound lineman comes barreling at you.
How about basketball? Doesn’t height give a huge advantage? Sure you have to possess a lot of natural skill to succeed at a high level, but if you have natural skill without height, you’re playing at a disadvantage. Of course there are exceptions to the rules such as Nate Robinson or Spud Webb, who both have had great careers, but in general height gives you a huge advantage in basketball.