I changed my strategy completely. For the next few weeks, when we went to the park to play catch or run drills, our only focus was on having fun and enjoying our time together. I still coached him and gave him guidance, but it came from a love of my son and a love of the game.
Mikan and I grew closer the more we just played together without expectations, and that newly regained trust created an opportunity to restart the conversation about potential.
“You know you’re a good baseball player, right?”
“Are you one of the best players on your team?”
“I think so.”
“Are you as good as you think you can be?”
No answer. Just a deep stare and a furled brow. But over the course of the next week, we would repeat the same conversation during our time together, getting closer to the heart of the matter every time we talked.
I told my son about my own journey of self-discovery and how I realized I could be great at something if I put my mind to it. I was careful not to push, only to guide him towards an understanding of a concept that took me nearly 35 years to finally wake up to.
These were some amazing and intense conversations, all the more so when you consider that they were taking place with a 9-year-old.
This is an excerpt from 40@40: The Only Person You’re in Competition With is Yourself.
In celebration of my 40th birthday, I decided to write 40 blog posts to reflect on 40 of the most important lessons I have learned throughout my life. You can follow the full series here: