Recently, I witnessed a “discussion” on social media. It happened to be on the topic of hitting, so naturally, I was drawn to it. But after seeing the first initial comments along with its content, I knew the comments would be lively and had the potential to turn into one of those nasty, knock-down-drag-out debates – a verbal WWIII if you will.
Hitting a baseball is by far the most debated topic in sports. I don’t know why, but it seems that everyone has an opinion on how a player should swing. It doesn’t matter if you were a hitter or a pitcher when you played, or never even played past little league, everyone seems to have an opinion on what they think is the best way to do it or what the best practices are in order to become the best at hitting a baseball.
As I scrolled down the long list of comments, I started to shake my head. I wasn’t shaking my head so much over the information in those comments (even though some of the information was not good information) but more importantly and more alarming, was the presence of so much hate.
Many people try so hard to be right. They want to push their own philosophy and terminology so they can show they have their foot in the door. It leads to coaches judging one another and throwing their opinions around to prove they are right and the other person is wrong.
Now let’s pause for a moment and remind ourselves that as coaches, it is our responsibility to take care of those around us. That means taking a sincere interest in the person first, before investing in the player second. It means pouring into your coaching staff, empowering them to lead the way, even if they aren’t doing it entirely right the first time through. It’s about serving others, before yourself. In its simplest form, it’s being a servant.
But when my eyes fall back on my iPad, I don’t see any servants. I see judges.
As I continue to scroll through the comments, I feel the tensions and the raw emotions oozing from the screen. Opinions are being thrown around with reckless abandonment. People are judging others left and right, all because someone else’s opinion doesn’t line up with theirs. It’s not a collaboration. It’s “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
Who Are We To Judge?
Opinions are just that – opinions. We are all entitled to our own opinions. If you live in the United States, you are very fortunate to have freedom of speech. But sadly in today’s society, freedom of speech has somehow been stretched to the extremes by people who think they can say whatever they want to, without taking into consideration the harm it can cause the person who absorbs their criticism and proverbial daggers.
Let’s remind ourselves that we are all on this Earth to positively impact the lives of others. We are supposed to be servants. We are here to be of service to others. To provide support, guidance, tough love, etc. to both friends and strangers. We are not built to go through life alone. We are supposed to join others in our journey and lean on the support of those around us.
When we judge others, it speaks volumes about our character. It provides evidence that we are not in sync with our purpose in life. We are telling ourselves that we would rather put down others to benefit our situation, instead of lifting up someone else for their benefit.
Our image trumps our purpose.
So who are we to judge? We are not perfect. None of us are. So why make others feel like they are less than perfect, when in reality, we are cut from the same cloth as everyone else?
Your Faith Is Not Perfect
After I had finished reading the comment thread, I tried to process all of the hate and closed-minded opinions I had seen.
My thoughts then traveled to the players – the people who are playing for coaches who are carrying around this hatred and who are not afraid to judge others. I thought about the players who only have one chance at playing the game they love to the best of their ability. One chance at finding out how they like to do it. One chance at finding faith in themselves.
Even well-intentioned coaches have opinions about how a player should swing a bat. But at the end of the day, the player needs to believe in what he is doing. You can listen to someone’s opinion on what they think you need to do, but ultimately it’s up to you to have faith in yourself, faith in your abilities and faith in what got you there in the first place. You were blessed with unique abilities and talents. Now it’s your job to understand your shape.
Your faith in yourself is not based on the idea that you will be perfect. Rather, it will allow you to do everything within your control to be the best version of yourself.
So the next time you are in a situation where you or someone else wants to be the first to throw a stone, just remember this:
More faith. Less opinion.
For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.
He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!