Posts Tagged ‘again’

I Struck Out Again!

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Living here in Arizona, we have the opportunity to see lots of spring training games for major league baseball. It’s nicknamed the Cactus League and the season is just around the corner. I love baseball, and like a lot of kids, when I was growing up I played in little league.

Now I need to be honest. I was not a very good player. I was fair at fielding, but pretty lousy when it game to batting. I tended to strike out a lot. And that is also how I saw myself, as a strikeout. As a result of that mindset, I improved very little.

But one day at practice, the afternoon before a game, we got some new baseball bats. I found a black bat that just felt good to me. I can still see it today. It was a Number 28, Yogi Berra. I just knew I could hit with this bat. I believed I could.

So, when it was my turn for batting practice that day, I hit the ball like I had never hit it before. My coach was really impressed. He finally announced, “Good job, Mike, you’re starting the game tomorrow.”

Wow! Starting the game? Me? That had never happened before. Only the best players started the game. I was excited. I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s game. I wasn’t going to strike out tomorrow. I finally had a good bat, the 28, Yogi Berra. I could hardly contain myself.

But then, just before practice was over, one of the other kids on our team was using the 28, Yogi Berra bat. When he hit the ball, the bat broke. I couldn’t believe it!

I was shocked. I was stunned. What had just happened? How could this have happened?

Suddenly all the excitement and anticipation for the upcoming game was gone. In a moment of time, I went from excitement and enthusiasm to dreading tomorrow’s game. I went home after practice feeling pretty discouraged. I don’t remember which bat I used the next day when it was my turn to bat during the game, but I do remember that I struck out, again. Do you know why I struck out again? At the time, I was convinced that it was because I did not have the 28, Yogi Berra bat. But that is not true.

The reality was that I was not a very good hitter. The reason that I was not a very good hitter was that I had not developed myself to become a better hitter. I had not put in the time and effort needed to improve my batting skills. And while that new black bat may have given me a little more confidence, not having that bat was not the deciding factor in me striking out.

Having good tools are important. I think we have all used inferior tools at one time or another and would certainly prefer to use the best tools that we can. But blaming the tools that we use when we lack the ability is not taking responsibility for our lives. You can have the best hammer on the market and still smash your thumb. Would that be the hammer’s fault?

I’ll never know what would have happened if I had used that 28, Yogi Berra bat in the game. I might have even struck out again using that bat! What I did not realize back then was that it wasn’t a good bat that I needed. I needed to put in the time, effort and energy to developing my skills.

I’m sure Tiger Woods is very particular about the golf clubs he uses. But, if you’re a golfer, do you think you could outplay him if he used your clubs and you used his? Got the point?

If you are going to be successful in life, then you cannot blame other people, circumstances, or even the tools that you use. Instead, take responsibility for your life by developing the skills that you need.

Listen to one of Michael A. Verdicchio’s Pep Talks at

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Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, and broadcaster. He has been the voice on numerous productions over the years.

2009 Australian Masters: Tiger Woods took the lead again

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tiger Woods has proved himself as the World’s No. 1 again In the November 13, when he opened with two birdies, saved his round with two pars and wound up with a 4-under 68. He completed his world domination by taking out the Australian Masters and said he planned to return next summer – but a clause will again prevent Sydney from seeing the world’s biggest sports star.

Despite Sydney hosting the premier event on the calendar – the Australian Open – there is a contract stipulating the world No.1 can only play one event Down Under.

After holding off Australia’s Greg Chalmers to win by two shots at Kingston Health, Woods sad he enjoyed his visit so much he would love to return to Melbourne in 2010.

It is thought that IMG, which runs the Masters tournament and also manages Woods, had clauses inserted in the contract for Woods to play in only one tournament in Australia. Any return to the Australian Masters at Victoria Golf Club next year would almost certainly be the same and rule out a Sydney tournament appearance.

Australian Open organisers have Greg Norman sewn up for the next three years but would no doubt be green with envy about the success of Woods playing at the Masters.

A record six-day attendance figure of 95,027 – with each day sold out – was a staggering sight at the Melbourne course.

Woods’ $3 million appearance fee was worth every cent and he completed the script by holding off the Australian challenge to claim the yellow jacket.

Asked if he had enjoyed his time in Australia, Woods said: “Are you kidding me? It’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

Victorian Premier John Brumby said 35,000 of the tickets were sold to interstate and overseas visitors, guaranteeing a huge boost  to the state economy that he said would “very,  very comfortably surpass” estimates of $19 million.

But Sydney’s chances of seeing Tiger and enjoying such a windfall are slim given Woods’ decision to return will no doubt be tied to his deep affection for the sandbelt courses of southeast Melbourne.

Golf Australia boss Stephen Pitt said he was focused on running a good Australian Open at NSW Golf Club at La Perouse from December 3-6 and could not speculate if the tournament would make a play for Woods next year.

“As you saw, he’s one of the all-time great players and any tournament would love him but it is really not a focus of ours at the moment,” Pitt said.


A Tiger fan shows his support whilst watching Tiger Woods of the USA on the 6th hole during the final round of the 2009 Australian Masters at Kingston Heath Golf Club on November 15, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.



Common mistake young players make – if they hit the ball hard they think it will go far.