Why is it that so many great youth league/travel players fail to keep being great? It’s always fascinated me. To be sure, some are great just because they’re bigger and stronger, but what about the guys who are truly good players at that young age? They are fundamentally sound, they seem to love the game, and they play well. Then, a few years later, they are just average.
Clearly, not everyone falls into the same category, but one major reason for what’s described about is distraction.
How do players get distracted as they get older?
They are distracted by freedom. Freedom isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can sometimes be deadly.
They are distracted by females. No explanation needed.
They are distracted by fun. Let’s face it, for many guys there are things more fun than working on bunt coverages and rundowns.
Scripture gives the advice this way in Proverbs 21:17–“He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich.”
That’s pretty straightforward. Distraction can be dangerous. It can steal a young player’s promising future, turning them into an early has-been. Worse, of course, it can steal a young man’s promising life. Distraction has led many a person to many wasted years.
What’s the answer?
Set your focus on what you know is best and refuse to deviate. If you want to be a great player, you’re going to need a boring life. I realize that doesn’t sound exciting, but the reality is you can’t live it up off the field and still be great on the field. There just isn’t enough time. If you want God’s best for your life, some things will need to be eliminated for what he wants for you. Just the way it is.
Remember the proverb. You can’t escape it. No one can. “Pleasure” of whatever kind is a potentially deadly distraction. Ask God for wisdom to discern what is best.
Lord Jesus, I’m so prone to distraction, on and off the field. You lived on earth with a laser focus on what you were sent to do. Enable me to do the same. Amen.