Without Courage Your Skills Are Worthless

Erik Cooper —  May 19, 2011 — 8 Comments

My sixth grade daughter took up softball this year. She’s always loved sports, but until this spring basketball had been her focus. As spectators, we found softball somewhat similar to basketball (it has everything but the excitement). It nearly drove me to watch soccer.

So last game, after the pitcher walked her eighth straight batter, I took my other two rugrats to the adjacent field for some batting practice of their own.

I was blown away.

My 9 year old glamor princess, who to date had only really used baseballs as a shirt-stuffing foreshadow of her impending womanhood, can swing a baseball bat in a way that would make a New York mob boss proud.

I had immediate visions of college scholarships, ESPN broadcasts, and launching the WMLB.

The only problem? As soon as I pitched an actual ball, she went from slugger to slacker. From powerful to pitiful. In practice, she was a prodigy. When it counted, she just couldn’t make herself swing the bat with the same ferocity.

Ability? Yep. Courage? Nope.

Without courage, all the raw talent in the world is worthless.

I can be the exact same way. Brilliant in theory. Flawless with a whiteboard. Powerful behind a keyboard…

…ninety pound weakling when it comes time to actually deliver (the part that really counts).

Fear. Insecurity. Worry. I have the power to split the cover, but choose to bunt instead of swinging for the fences.

Ever happen to you?

What’s one courageous move you need to make today? It’s time. Swing hard.

8 responses to Without Courage Your Skills Are Worthless

  1. Fantastic post. Thanks, Erik!

  2. Erik, if you haven’t been approached about publishing your blog into a book, then it’s only because a publisher simply hasn’t stumbled upon “Beyond the Risk” yet! You’re officially my fave blog…and that’s coming from a girl who has a framed print on my desk that reads, “I love you, blogs and tea.” I mean blog (reading) business. 🙂

    Great word. We needed that today! Can you pastor us virtually? 😉 Oh wait, I think you are!

  3. You should frame this and give it to her when she gets her scholarship. You should take all the credit. Excellent insight. I know I’m being challenged to step out and be courageous, we’ll see what happens!

  4. Great! You are more courageous than you realize! I think it’s like faith ~ something that grows! Have a wonderful day! THANK YOU!

  5. Erik, it’s not just about swinging hard. It’s all about timing and keeping one’s eye on the ball, too. Some of my hardest swings ended up as whiffs or foul balls.

    • Great point Chuck. Although I must say I see people struggle much more out of fear than from swinging and missing. I guess I’m at a point where I’d rather see a few strikes or foul balls than consistently checked swings (enough baseball analogies for one comment?).

      Perhaps swing “true” would be a good addition?

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