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Baseball and life

Bats sit in the Chofu Little Seniors dugout during the Inaugural Japan-US Friendship Youth Baseball Game at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 25, 2017. The event marks the beginning of the spring baseball season on base and strengthened ties between the Yokota and Japanese youth through baseball. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka)

Bats sit in the Chofu Little Seniors dugout during the Inaugural Japan-US Friendship Youth Baseball Game at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 25, 2017. The event marks the beginning of the spring baseball season on base and strengthened ties between the Yokota and Japanese youth through baseball. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka)

TUCSON, Ariz. --

I love the spring for one simple reason; I love baseball. When spring rolls around and pitchers and catchers report for spring training, I get excited. The new season brings new expectations and hope for a better year. Thoughts of the failures of last year fade away and there is always a sense at the start of the season that this could be the year.

One of the reasons that I love baseball is that baseball is a wonderful metaphor for life. Think about it, Ted Williams with a career batting average of .344 is considered one of the greatest hitters of all time. He had two seasons in which he hit over .400, a feat that no one else has ever achieved. But there is another way to look at those numbers. In his career Ted Williams made outs 66% of the time! In the year that Roger Maris hit 61 home runs he stepped up to the plate nearly 700 times. In other words 92% of the time he did not hit a home run. Last year the best team in the major league team lost 58 games and worst team won 59 games.

This is how life works. No one hits the ball out of the park every time they step up to the plate. No team wins every game. Life is full of ups and downs; wins and losses; sustained successes and stressful slumps. The baseball players who succeeded at the very highest level, succeeded for one simple reason—they learned how to handle failures. They developed resiliency that got them through the slumps. They listened to coaches and adjusted their approach at the plate. More than anything they determined to keep pressing on and doing their very best, knowing that things would turn around with consistent effort.

As a chaplain I know that sometimes the slumps of life can be overwhelming. I go through those times myself. I also know that there is always hope! I know that there is a dedicated team of professionals that are a part of the 162nd family that want to help you through those times. Sometimes life needs some “coaching”. If you are going through a tough time consider reaching out to a member of the chaplain team or get help from Military One Source, family readiness, or the Director of Psychological Health. More than anything determine to press on and look for the turn around, it’s not very far away.

You can reach the Chaplain's Office at (520) 295-6217 or the DPH can be reached at (520) 295-7315