I coach my 8-year-old daughter’s softball team. I love it, though I have to be careful to straddle the line between pushing her to do her best while still ensuring that she’s having fun. After all, Poppy is 8.
Poppy liked softball, but I wouldn’t say she loved it. Until something happened the other day. We were playing in the front yard, and for no particular reason, I threw the ball as high as I could. Up to this point, Pops still had a pretty healthy fear of the ball. Which makes sense, it’s very unnatural to allow a hard object to fly at your face and then stop it with a leather mitt that is now obstructing your view from said object.
She caught it. And when she saw that ball in her glove, her smile could have lit up every stadium in Texas. I screamed with all the love and pride you’d imagine. I was proud. She was prouder. But what happened a few minutes later was the best part.
“Dad, now that I’m good….” Poppy began.
“Now that you’re good,” I thought? A minute prior to this she was shuffling her feet, complaining about the heat and asking when we could go inside. But with this one catch, everything changed. Her body language, her energy, and her confidence had flipped like a switch. She now believed she was good. And now, because that ball found her glove, she had found her confidence. It was and will be one of my favorite moments of fatherhood.
Imagine how much more we would be willing to take on as adults, parents, and professionals if we started every endeavor with “Now that I’m good…”