Let me start by saying that I don’t play baseball—I never have.
In fact, I wasn’t a great athlete growing up. However, I grew up in a town centered around the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics, where the two most common words throughout the city are: Tom Brady.
I went on to create a major in Sports Management and worked professionally in the sports industry before becoming a life coach. So, if there are two things I know about, it’s sports and life.
Life throws curves. Not all the time, but when it does, boy is it hard to hit ’em straight. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the curveballs of life from breakups, career changes, health issues, addictions, and deaths, but I probably don’t need to tell you how sometimes a curveball closely resembles a fastball to the face.
Through it all, I learned that the way to turn a tough pitch into a home run (or at least a base hit) is the same process as when you’re standing on home plate.
How to hit a curve:
1. Keep Your Hands Back
The first thing you do when you recognize you’re being thrown a curve is to keep your hands back. In other words, pull back. When life throws you a curve, the instinct is usually to react or fight back. The first thing you need to do if you’re going to get through whatever problem you’re facing is relax.
Take some deep breaths, recognize that the initial emotion you’re feeling will pass, or at least become less intense, and if you swing too soon you ultimately strikeout.
2. Sink into the Ground
Once you’ve positioned yourself so you can stay in the game, get grounded. When life throws you curves, they come with a side of emotions and insecurities. Take the time to recognize that they come with the pitch, but you can choose to change your focus.
If you start to think you’re not going to hit it, you’re not going to hit it. Remember that you can. You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again. Your focus when you’re facing a curve in life has to be to get grounded. Ask yourself who you really are, what really matters to you, and why you deserve it. Sink into your worth.
3. Stay Balanced and Wait
You have more time than you think. This pitch comes slower than the rest. You’re going to want to jump. You’re going to want to swing. You’re going to want to step out of that grounded state of worth. Don’t. Stay balanced. Pull back. Position yourself for success. Sink into what really matters. Balance requires strength.
4. Adjust Your Sights
Where are you taking this one? You were used to fastballs. You were used to that relationship. You were used to that job. This isn’t a fastball. That relationship is over. You don’t have that job anymore. Where are you going now? Decide where you’re going. Commit. Follow through. Watch it fly.
Finally, remember that there’s going to be more pitches. If this one feels like you’ve never played baseball a day in your life and you’re batting against Sandy Koufax (a pitcher who threw an incredible curveball, for my non-baseball fan friends), you can bet that your next one will be right down the middle.
So whether the curveball you face looks a little tricky or feels totally impossible to hit, take it from me: if you follow these steps, you will make it on base.