Lessons from a Hammock

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard

Yesterday, I found myself sitting in a large conference room at the World Marriott Center in Orlando, Florida. For the third consecutive year, I am fortunate enough to be in attendance for the ABCA National Convention, where over 4000 college and high school coaches across the nation attend to gather baseball knowledge from some of the best coaching minds in our game.

As the clinics got underway, I listened to various coaches speak of developing mental toughness. They spoke about trust and effort and resilience. They spoke about competing and never giving up. They shared anecdotes of players in their programs who demonstrated these qualities and how it led to success in their program.

I have learned a lot yesterday about these attributes from some of the greatest minds in the game of baseball that all educators, coaches, and parents seek to see in their students, children, and players. Perhaps, the best lesson, however, came from a little boy trying to obtain some rest and relaxation.

While listening to the coaches share their stories, I received the following texts from my fiancé, Lauren, who is enjoying a mini-vacation by the pool at our Walt Disney Dolphin resort:

“Watching a little boy try to get into a hammock. He keeps flipping out or skidding off, but this kid is determined to find a way in. Counted about 18 face plants into the sand. He’s not giving up.”

It would have been so easy for him after a few tries, five tries, or even ten tries to simply give up and walk away. He could have blamed it on the hammock. He could have made any number of other excuses. But he didn’t…

“He’s a champ.

He made it in!”

This kid had to be so proud of himself.

What a small but simple illustration of persistence. What a glorious success! This simple story provides such a powerful dose of perspective for all of us.

Would we remain so determined? Do we remain so persistent?

I think about all the times we take no for an answer. We struggle with a few attempts before we walk away angry, embarrassed, or grumbling and making excuses for why it was not our fault. We resign ourselves to believe that we cannot do it. We do not have what it takes. It is just not in the cards for us or not our day. We accept the hopeless failure.

For that little boy, the hammock repeatedly told him no. It told him no no less than eighteen times. However, he kept at it. He showed resilience. He showed persistence. He found a way to get that hammock to tell him yes.

Are we willing to work that hard? Are we willing to fail that much? Are we able to risk falling flat on our face multiple times to get what we want?

It may be something as small as trying to get on a hammock or as big as landing our dream job. What are you willing to do to turn a failure into a success? To turn a barrier into an obstacle conquered? To turn a no into a yes?

How far are you willing to go to get in the hammock?

Bring your best today!

Love, Noah

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