Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Ken Klemm Spring Hill, FL, USA

Posted: 2017-04-17

Hungry for the Ball

Nothing defeats a softball player more than lack of 
confidence (a.k.a. Fear).

I see it on the ball field every day. Players whose 
fear of making a mistake is so great, they avoid making 
a play.

Perhaps they fear being criticized by a parent, coach 
or teammate. You can see it in their eyes.

When a high fly ball comes their way, they allow it to 
fall to the ground in front of them rather than 
attempting to catch it with their glove.

When a pop fly is in the vicinity of 3 or 4 fielders, 
each looks at the other hoping someone else will 
attempt to catch it - no one does and the ball falls to 
the ground.

There are other players who, in the same situation, 
will yell, “Mine, mine, mine!,” and attempt to catch 
the ball. If they miss the catch, no smart person will 
criticize them.

The good coach will say, “Just shake it off. Let it go. 
You made a great attempt!”

Then there is the fielder who dives head first toward 
the ball, tumbles over on the ground, and pops up with 
her arm raised - the ball securely in her glove.

These last two are hungry for the ball! Their hunger to 
get an out overrides their fear of messing up.

Whether a player has confidence or doubts her own 
ability is evident in what she says to herself, if you 
are careful to listen.

An inadequate coach will reinforce the doubt, whereas 
the good coach will instill belief.

You friend and servant,

Ken Klemm

P.S. “An ounce of encouragement has more power than a 
ton of criticism.”