Mark it down. My sons will not throw curveballs until they are ready. Ready for what? Ready for it not to work. My focus isn’t even on the health of their arms (though that is a major concern). My focus is that they learn how to pitch. And, learning how to pitch means learning to throw a fastball anytime, anywhere. It means learning that a roundhouse curveball that works on a 12-year-old hitter gets blasted in high school. It means learning that command is more important that movement, and so is change of speed. It means working through a process that may not bring immediate success.
I believer one of the reasons so many young pitchers are taught to throw curveballs is simply because they work at a young age, regardless of how good the pitch really is. It’s expedient. It gets hitters out. It wins games now. And all the while, the young pitcher fails to understand the true art and science of pitching. All he knows is that hitters can’t hit that one pitch. Why would he throw anything else?
Proverbs 8:34-35–“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who obtains me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord” (NASB).
That’s wisdom talking, telling us that obtaining it is a process. There are no shortcuts. Just like learning how to pitch, learning how to live God’s way takes time, diligence, patience, endurance, and a willingness to do the same things over and over, even when there is little immediate payoff. It requires a long view instead of expediency. It requires giving up short term gains for a greater long term gain.
You can go through life doing only what works now, what makes you happy now, what pleases you in the moment. And one day you’ll wind up like the kid who could only get hitters out with a curveball–confused and frustrated. Or, you can surrender your life to Jesus, sit daily at his feet, live daily in his word, and walk daily with him. Then you’ll know how to live, you’ll have wisdom and understanding that the curveball kid never learned. You’ll stand on solid ground for the remainder of your life, not just now.
Getting hitters out now or really learning now to pitch. Your choice.
Here’s a prayer for those who relate:
Lord Jesus, Like everyone, I want to be happy now. But, I don’t want that at the expense of what you have for me down the road. I need your patience and endurance. I need your diligence and daily wisdom. Help me lean into the process and not simply do what is expedient in the moment. I don’t want to be like the kid who never learned how to pitch. Amen.