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  • Writer's pictureChris Carlock


I play softball in a men's league on Friday nights. Last week, we gave up four runs in the top half of the last inning to eventually lose the game.

We were up by two when a potential double-play grounder was hit to me at shortstop. Instead of getting the double-play and ending the game, the ball kicked off my glove and we got zero outs. I booted it.

When the play ended I heard someone yell, "Goldfish!" It was my son, who was with my wife and daughter watching our game. Goldfish is what I say to my Little League teams when someone makes a mistake as a reminder to forget about the last play and move on. Hearing him say that put a big smile on my face.

There was a lot of value being in that situation. As a coach, I'm constantly trying to teach my players the importance of moving forward and letting go of mistakes on the field. But I haven't played baseball since I was in junior college. Playing softball on Friday nights puts me in somewhat competitive situations that allow me to practice what I preach. More importantly, it puts me in situations where I get to make mistakes. Making mistakes allows me to be more empathetic to others who make mistakes.

As an adult who teaches, coaches and parents children and teenagers, it's easy to lose touch with the challenges my students, players, and kids face. Playing softball helps me stay in touch with my players' challenges on the field. Taking classes and learning new things helps me stay in touch with my students' challenges in the classroom.

Booting that grounder in front of my family was also valuable in them getting the opportunity to be empathetic toward me. They got to tell me to shake it off and make good-natured fun of me at the same time.

If we have the opportunity, it's important for us to put ourselves in similar situations to the ones we're trying to teach others. It makes us better teachers because it reminds us of the challenges of being a student.

Make it a great day!

Coach Chris


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