The Biggest Risk in Life is Not Taking Any Risk

     This saying also applies to baseball. The biggest risk in baseball is not taking any risk. The greatest players to have played the game of baseball had this one thing in common, besides having talent, and that is not being afraid to take risk. In other words, the best players aren't afraid to fail. If you are a batter at the plate and there is a 3-1 count on you with runners on base, you can't be thinking "I don't want to swing at a bad pitch". Sometimes you just have to be very aggressive, trust your instincts, and tell yourself this is a great opportunity to drive in some runs. There may be times when you do swing at a bad pitch, but I have seen many good hitters hit bad pitches for hits and drive in runs. There are times like this that you might take a calculated gamble. Those are the times, though, that you may get a fastball right down the middle and you won't miss it because you weren't being defensive at the plate. There are times when the pitcher will throw a great pitch and get you out, but we have to be prepared to take that risk.


      If you are a runner at first base, and the pitcher throws a pitch in the dirt, and the ball bounces just a little bit away from the catcher, do you hesitate and say, I'd better be careful, and stay at first. Or are you the type of player that is waiting and hoping the pitcher throws one in the dirt and prepared to get a great jump and dare the catcher to throw you out. I like that player because he is not afraid to get thrown out and he also is forcing the other team to make a play.


      If you are a runner on first base and you know the center fielder or right fielder have very strong arms, and there is a base hit to either of them, are you prepared to challenge the throw and take third base? Or just play it safe and stay at second base. Of course, there are some game situations that would prohibit that, and you  have to practice hard to make sharp turns on the bases, but most of all are you willing to take a risk and have the confidence to challenge taking that extra base.


      In an earlier post, I mentioned the three different kinds of baseball players. The one that makes things happen, the one that watches things happen, and the one that wonders what just did happen. Players that are willing to take risk are usually the player that makes things happen and they are the ones that usually keep progressing in the game. The more risk they take, the more they learn, and they understand more clearly what they can and cannot do.


      There are many more situations that you can take risk, like if you are an outfielder and a line drive comes your way. Do you have the confidence to dive for the ball or just lay back and play it safe and play the ball on a bounce. Again the situation may call for you to play it safe based on the score, but you do not want to be that player who always want to play it safe.


      Think about these situations. Make good decisions, be aggressive, but please do not be afraid to take risk. As the saying goes, "How will you ever get to second base, if you are afraid to take your foot off first".

Talking Baseball with Leon Lee
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