Whatever you do… don’t look down

"Coach Q" over a ravine in Mexico.

I went on vacation last week.

For someone like me, who lives and breathes softball 24-7, this was a week away from everything.

So while in Cabo San Lucas, to my surprise, I experienced a softball teaching moment.

Once a year my wife, Karen, and I take a cruise to Mexico. We usually stop at all the ports and do all the tourist things.

For some reason this year she scheduled for us to do a zip line and ropes course. My idea of a challenge on vacation is seconds at the taco bar while I watch the sunset.

So an hour’s drive into the desert of Cabo San Lucas plus a safety talk with all these belts, straps, hooks and a hike up the small trail we go.

The first two stops were good. They were zip lines, and I liked them.

The third obstacle was a cable bridge (see photo). I started off fine, but somewhere close to the middle I looked down and realized how high I was—I’m not a fan of heights—and started to feel a little panic.

Every step became tense and calculated; I was in the middle with no way to turn back or get off.

My thought was not to shake the wire, but of course THE MORE I THOUGHT THE MORE IT STARTED TO WOBBLE.

I got control of myself by smoothing out my breathing and looking at the platform 30-feet in front of me. I also trusted my ability to keep my balance while walking across the wire.

I got myself into the panic mode. I had to get myself out of the panic mode.

This made me think of what pitchers go through almost every time they take the field. How many times do they start out fine and a hit, walk, or error gets to them and they start to wobble?

It’s important to realize what’s happening. Just telling a pitcher (or your child) to throw strikes is not the answer.

Know that with experience any pitcher will be able to do the same three things I did to get back under control: control the breathing (emotions); control the focus; and trust the mechanics.

What’s the last thing you did that scared you?

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4 Responses to “Whatever you do… don’t look down”

  1. karen quiroz January 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    It was a little scary up there, but so true to get out of the panic mode. What a good idea to do those 3 things!

  2. Ana Hitzel January 28, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    That looks like fun! You look at home up there.

    I used to repel back in the day. I fell 75 feet because of a defective biner. Luckily I hit a tree before I hit the ground. That was the scariest moment of may life thinking I would not make it!

    Ana

  3. coachmikeq January 29, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    Thanks, for the comments. Ana, that must have been a very scary situation for you. Glad everything worked out.

  4. Kent February 2, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    My first experiance at umpiring. Although I made some bad calls and some coaches got excited I too focused on the game at hand and put the distractions aside and ended up doing okay.

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