I was always the kid growing up who couldn't get enough baseball. I was always playing on multiple tournament teams to get my fill, guest playing when none of my teams had scheduled tournaments. Every team I played on, I experienced the same pattern.
I would start off hot in the first couple games, feeding off all of the positive attention I received for being the "new kid" on the block. Eventually, that feeling would fade and I'd come back down to Earth. I didn't struggle, I just didn't outshine everybody else. However, I would slowly start seeing my name drop in the lineup while noticing other players who weren't outperforming me replace me at the beginning of the order.
No, it wasn't because the coach hated me. It wasn't because they didn't know what they were doing. It was my body language.
My strikeouts weren't just strikeouts, they were day long affairs of sad looks, pouty shoulders, and a feel-sorry-for-me attitude. The strikeouts weren't noticeable. The pathetic pity performance was.
And believe me, coaches noticed. The whole world noticed. Hitters who were hitting 100 points lower than me batted higher in the lineup than me strictly on account of them carrying themselves like .400 hitters.
I don't blame the coaches. I would've done the same thing, After all, when making a lineup, coaches write in names for the purpose of the next game, not the previous one. Who are you trusting to win you a ball game: the kid who thinks he's all that, or the kids who looks like he's about to crumble in a fit of tears in the next five minutes?
At the end of the day, your body language talks louder than your average. Nobody has time to thoroughly peruse the stat sheet day in and day out, but everyone can read someone's facial expressions and actions. You can make an entire crowd think you're hitting .150 while actually hitting .400. You can save your career and destroy your career merely by the way you walk and talk.
For your own sake, if you're sucking, don't let anyone know about it. Trust me, know one notices more than you. I know it can seem as if the whole world is staring at you walking back to the dugout after a strikeout, but I promise you no one cares that much. It's all in your head.
Everyone strikes out, but not everyone dwells on it. Be the guy who carries himself like the best player on the team, and you might find people's perceptions of you start to change.
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