Sometimes the training never seems to end. Baseball is like that. If it’s not in-season practice and games, it’s summer ball. If it’s not summer ball, it’s fall ball. If it’s not fall ball, it’s winter conditioning.

Lots of people today will tell you that you don’t need to specialize in one sport, largely because they believe your body can’t take year-round baseball.

In one sense, they’re correct. A player can’t throw competitively the majority of the year and expect to have no arm problems. Likewise, a mental break from now and then is extremely helpful.

In another sense, however, they are wrong. Very wrong. It is only through long term focus and discipline that we become great at something. Additionally, the myth of the well-rounded success story is just that–a myth.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for never taking a break from baseball activities, but if a player wants to be great, his focus on greatness can never take a break, regardless of his current activities.

So, instead of training being monotonous and overwhelming, perhaps we can begin to view it as the necessary discipline toward greatness.

Check out Proverbs 6:23–“For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life…”

Like winter conditioning and strength training, sometimes the word and commandments of God feel anything like a “lamp.” Honestly, they sometimes feel more like a straightjacket. Those “reproofs for discipline” seem more like nagging sometimes than help.

But discipline is indeed the key to freedom.

Without discipline, I am not free to play and coach well.

Without discipline, I am not free to live well.

And the commands of God are the key to discipline.

Without them, I don’t know which path to walk.

Without them, I don’t know where I’m going.

Today, whether or not we specialize in baseball, let’s specialize in God’s word. Let’s allow it to bring about in us the discipline necessary to live the life God has ordained for us. Just like the player who conditions in the winter time, let’s train our spirits for greatness by submitting to God’s word.

Lord Jesus, set me on a disciplined path, one that leads to life, one that frees me to be the player, coach, parent–the person–you want me to be. Amen.