You would think—or at least I did—that professional baseball players don’t really need any help. After all, aren’t they the machines we watch on television throughout the season? Don’t they show up every day needing no one and nothing? Can’t they just do on the field anything they want at any time, perfectly?
On that first morning, after the coaches’ study, I was privileged to attend a minor league players meeting. It was the first full day of workouts for the minor leaguers, and this team meeting was focused on sports performance psychology. Wait, these guys need help with psychology?
The lead helper is Josiah (an incredible man), the Rangers’ guy for “Peak Performance.” Excited doesn’t begin to describe Josiah. He spills energy everywhere. Working with his British counterpart, Jack, Josiah riveted his audience for over thirty minutes about the ins and outs of the mind and emotions and how they are intertwined with physical performance.
I wish I’d had that kind of help when I was playing. I wish coaches today would realize how much this stuff matters. In fact, it matters more than a player’s physical ability. Spiritual, psychological, mental, and emotional help can be the determining factor for a player’s career. I’ve seen it firsthand…fear can paralyze players, causing them to be incapable of doing the simplest of tasks on a baseball field.
They need help.
Josiah didn’t criticize those who were afraid. He didn’t berate them. He didn’t tell them to just get over it. He helped them. Identify it. Call it out. Deal with it. Then act as if it isn’t there. Go.
Help we all need.
Coach, dad, our boys need help. They are not machines. They are not immune to life. They cannot just get over it or past it. We must help them. If you are not there to help, get out, or get different. One day, you and I will answer before God on how we helped the players he gave us. I’m praying to be like Josiah, who wants to see these guys be whole in every way, not just on the field.
Help. Encourage. Draw out of them the best they have to offer. I praise God that he does so not by merely instilling fear, but by showing his kindness through the Cross of Christ. Amen!
Lord, help us to help as you help. Change us, Lord Jesus.