If you’re trying to field a softball, you can’t get out of the way, close your eyes, cringe, or hesitate. The only way to make a play is to keep your eye on the ball and get in front of it, putting your body squarely between the ball and where it is trying to go. My dad drilled that home to me when I was a kid by repeatedly aiming ground balls between my knees and ankles. I got really good–really fast. (And no, I never got hurt.)

It seems to me that there’s an important life lesson entwined in my softball experience. If you want to be a player (i.e. someone who’s in the game, who matters–not a playa!), you can’t run away from the ball. In fact, you have to actually throw yourself in front of whatever life throws at you in order to make things happen. Don’t close your eyes or turn your head, or it will hurtle past. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to use two hands.

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