boys playing baseball pitcher

Fearless in the Box

In Articles, Culture, Life Issues, Sports, Stress, Fear & Anxiety by Kirk Giles

Don’t back away—live in the power of God

My youngest son, Samuel, play[ed] on a travel softball team. I [was] often amazed at how fast some 11 and 12 year old boys are able to pitch a softball—underhanded. There are times when the batter does not have time to think; he just has time to react.

As these pitchers are developing their skills, the one common element that goes with the speed is a lack of control. They can throw it fast, but you never really know where the ball is going to go. For a boy standing in the batter’s box, you can imagine the angst he must feel as he has everyone telling him to swing, but he is wondering if his head is going to be taken off with the next pitch.

It is very common for these boys to be moving their feet and backing away from home plate as the pitch is being thrown. Their instinct is for their own safety, not for hitting the ball. Some of them have been hit by a pitch, they know the pain, and they have no desire to experience it again. Many times, the boys do not even realize they are backing out of the box; their body just reacts this way.

As a coach, one of the most critical lessons you teach a boy learning to hit a ball is the importance of keeping his feet planted and staying in the batter’s box. If his body is pulling him away from home plate, he will not make solid, if any, contact with the ball. If he keeps his feet planted like they are in cement and swings properly, he can use the power from the ball to hit it a long way.

Sports will so often imitate our real lives. Fear controls a lot of men—many times we do not even realize it. The fear of job or financial insecurity will cause some men to compromise on what they know to be right in order to keep their position of security. There are men who live in fear for their marriage, what will happen with their children, or what the doctor will say about their health. Stress can be a sign of a deep rooted fear we may have about losing something.

When we are afraid, we move our feet to what we believe is a more secure place where we are in control. In reality that pitch can still hit us no matter where we are standing. All we are doing is removing the opportunity to make solid contact with a ball. We are losing our chance to hit a home run.

Imagine if there were thousands of men standing firm in the grace and strength of God. Imagine men who knew who they are in Christ and were fearless because of Him. Imagine men who would not back away from the unknown, but stay in the batter’s box and live in the power of God.

About
Kirk Giles
Kirk Giles is the co-lead pastor of Forward Church in Cambridge, ON. He was formerly the President of Promise Keepers Canada | Impactus. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel. He is also the author of The Seasons of Fatherhood.
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Kirk Giles
Kirk Giles is the co-lead pastor of Forward Church in Cambridge, ON. He was formerly the President of Promise Keepers Canada | Impactus. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel. He is also the author of The Seasons of Fatherhood.