I stepped up to the plate and kicked my cleats into the dirt. After three short practice swings I was ready for the pitch. My Little League coach was an active advisor during batting practice, and he watched me intently. My buddy Roger was on the mound and he was known for adding sound effects with his mouth to make his fastball seem faster.
I squinted the sweat out of my eyes and tried to focus. Here came the pitch, a little high but right over the plate. I took a deep breath, stepped forward with my left foot and put everything I had into that swing. Stee-rike!! I whiffed big time.
My coach seized on the teaching moment and called out, “David yer swingin’ for the fences. Just meet the ball.” Translation: I was trying too hard. If I could just relax a bit, concentrate on making contact and accepting a base hit, I was increasing my odds for success.
Baseball games are usually not won on home runs alone. If you can consistently deliver “moneyball” base hits and move runners into scoring position, the numbers are in your favor in the long run. You also get to celebrate more frequently.
It’s a well-known fact that Babe Ruth was a home run king, but he was a strikeout king too. Big rewards came with big risk.
I have many friends who work in sales, and they know this principle all too well: By all means swing for the fences when you can, but take your base hits when you can get them too. A balanced game gives you a better chance for overall success.
Are you sometimes swingin’ too hard for the fence?