The 2010 Cincinnati Reds won their division and made the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons. They led their league in almost every team hitting and offensive category and appeared poised for success, even against the finest pitchers. In the first game of their opening round, the unthinkable happened. For the first time since 1971, the Reds got 0 hits in a game. The no-hitter was only the 2nd in post-season history, and the first since 1956. The Reds’ hardest hit ball came off the bat of a pitcher. They were, from a collective and individual perspective, dominated, overmatched, and overwhelmed.
Such is baseball. There is a fine line between success and failure when you attempt to strike a small and elusive round target no more than 3 inches in diameter with a long, narrow and cylindrical stick of wood no more than 2.75 inches in diameter. Even the greatest major league hitters fail to record a hit around 65% of the time.
A great hitter is selective with his attention. He pays little mind to anything other than “did I see the ball, did I hit the ball, and did I hit the ball hard?” Whether he records an official hit, or not, is beyond his control unless he hits the ball over the outfield fence. If he fails in his task, whether for a pitch or an at-bat or a game or a series, he must remain confident in the belief that every out puts him that much closer to his next hit.
Let go of the past. Learn from it then move on. One game is not indicative of greatness, or a lack thereof. A great hitter possesses an abundance of emotional resiliency and is inspired when others doubt him. A great hitter derives strength from failure because he knows any shortcoming is temporary. A great hitter discards negative thoughts and limiting beliefs and focuses on the next game and the next pitch. Learn from the Reds and become great. Throw away the past and create a great future.