You’ll NEVER Hit the Ball If You Don’t SWING!

Much like the lottery commission says when they trumpet “You can’t win if you don’t play”, the game of baseball mirrors life exactly the same way.

I always smile when I watch our beloved Red Sox with my Dad. Some batters will NEVER swing at the first pitch, no matter what. Call it superstition, or strategy, my Dad gets fired-up each and every time.

“What do you want, the pitcher to come in and HIT it for you too?!?”  (that is one of my favorites)

As frustrated as he gets watching these mega-million ballplayers leave the lumber lying on their shoulders, he’s right on so many levels.

Back when I was playing Little League, Dad was my coach. On our team was a player named Jeff who began to make a habit of watching perfectly good pitches zip by in practice, plunking into the catcher’s mitt over and over. Finally my Dad went over and took the bat away from him.

“What am I supposed to do, Mr. Gamlin?” he asked.

My Dad told him to get back in the batter’s box and take his stance. He wasn’t swinging at the pitches anyway, so why burden himself with 33 ounces of hickory?

The lesson was learned after Jeff stood there for several embarrassing minutes.

The following year, Jeff led the league in home runs.  

Years later, he ran into my dad and thanked him for that important bit of knowledge.

Have *I* been guilty of leaving the bat on my shoulder?

Yup!  And on at least once occasion in Little League, it cost my team the game.

In business, it has cost me potential clients and career growth.

There are few feelings in the world worse than knowing a big fat opportunity was delivered right to your doorstep…and you didn’t even move your hands to greet it.

You can swing and miss. It happens.  But NOT even trying, KNOWING it was a perfect opportunity (and you were too scared to pull the trigger) is a heartache like no other. And that heartache can become a habit very quickly as each disappointment piles up.

Is there a pitch headed YOUR way right now?

Are you standing there, wide-eyed, wondering what to do? If it looks like a perfect pitch, or at least something you can get a piece of, please honor yourself and SWING!

You may get a hit. You may foul it off (which just means “I’m trying, but just haven’t made good contact yet”).

Please don’t just stand there.

If you do, you may discover that LIFE will take the bat out of your hands and leave you still at the plate, paralyzed with fear or embarrassment, unable to swing for the fences.

It’s YOUR life, are you in the game?

Batter up… and PLAY BALL!


  1. I was guilty of doing this in the past when I had a brick and mortar business. It took some time to learn that underneath it all was a fear of succeeding…and when I gave myself permission to do that, it all changed. You’re right, Steve, it is time to PLAY BALL! : D

  2. Great analogy, Steve. I’m sure there have been times in my business that I was guilty of leaving the bat on my shoulder for various reasons. You make a good point, though – you can’t hit that homer if you don’t at least attempt the swing!

  3. I love this story Steve! It’s so true – you will never achieve what you want in life unless you go for it! I’ve held myself back many times for fear of not being or having enough – you’ve encapsulated a great message in a powerful way here – Thanks!

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