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The Art of Running to First

littleleaguebaseballbat15_clip_image008.jpgMy son, Simon, just finished a summer of Pee Wee League baseball this week. He improved a lot over the summer and learned the important skill of how to run to first base.

First, you have to unencumber yourself. The first time he ran to first in a game he took the bat most of the way with him before he remembered to discard it. While the bat was essential to set in motion the events that allowed him to run to first, the bat is no longer useful and, in fact, is a detriment for the actual act of running to first.

Second, you have to detach yourself. Once the ball is hit, it's gone. You no longer have any control over it. It's tempting to watch the ball, its trajectory, its journey, whether it's caught or not, but what if it is? You can't do anything about that. you have to detach yourself from it.

Third, focus yourself on the goal. Unencumbered and detached, you now only have one objective. Run to first. That is your only goal. The ball may get there before you, it may not. That doesn't matter. This is no time for distractions or half-hearted effort. Run!

Once you get to first safely then is the time for further evaluation. Are you out? Are you safe? Do you need to run further? Many permutations and possibilities can be considered, but only after you've made it to first.

I've learned a lot from my son this summer.

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