Get Uncomfortable.

Today we present a guest article from Stephanie Beane, Certified Instructor in Temecula, California:
This quote was ringing through my head all morning as I was instructing a lesson: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

What does this mean and how do I break it down to a 12 year old who is suffering through menstrual cramps, has only been back from a foot fracture for a month, and is outside pitching in the heat?

Our older kids get it. They know how to push themselves, but some of our younger kids have never been pushed outside their comfort zones. As soon as they start to push the boundaries a little bit, they recoil (because they are scared and uncertain) and we take 2 steps backwards. They aren’t used to trusting themselves or anyone else who tells them there is more inside of them, so they only do what comes easily. The excuses come quickly, and as a coach we have to tread that fine line of helping them find their potential vs pushing too hard and scaring them away.

Since I hung up my cleats, running has become my outlet. I am not fast, but I have learned to not compare myself against others (as I did in softball with my stats and win-loss records), but against my personal best. I prefer longer races (half and full marathons- where the true crazies hang out) where I’m left to some great music and my thoughts to occupy me and keep me going. I can make running sound peaceful and fairy-tale like, but the hardest part every day: lacing up my shoes and getting started. The first half mile is always the worst. I literally dread it, even though I know it will be over quickly. Accelerating my heart-rate, breathing quicker, getting my muscles to react faster, the prickling of my skin and beginning sweating, I HATE IT. BUT, if I stopped in that first half mile because of physical discomfort, I’d never get to enjoy the euphoria of knowing my body just ran farther than most people drive in a day.

Being an athlete, and a pitcher especially, is all about mental fortitude. While I had a Bachelor’s in Psychology, there are others much more qualified to delve into this topic. The words I want to pass on today are: get comfortable being uncomfortable. Challenge yourself. Try to do more than your last personal best. Push a little harder. When it gets tough, dig deep down, and know how much sweeter it is on the other side. We all have so much more inside of us that we never tap into because of fear and discomfort. The second you tell yourself you “can’t” do something, you are correct, and you won’t. But what if, you told yourself you “can” do something? Even if you don’t succeed the first, the second, the 50th time, keep chipping away and it will come. Learn something from each attempt and approach your challenge in different ways and with a renewed mindset. It is possible. You CAN do it.

When instructing with my new knowledge as a Tincher pitching coach is, often I think: “What if I had known Denny growing up? Could he have gotten me to use my body more efficiently?” I was 6ft tall, 175lbs, horrible mechanics, and hit 70mph. What could have happened if I had known how to engage all the assets I have as a female athlete? That thought excites me and encourages me to continue instructing, so I can pass the knowledge, that I didn’t have, on to the next generation of female athletes. There is so much more potential and strength inside each of you that you haven’t tapped into.

So what did I say to that 12 year old? I told her to take all the discomfort and annoyances, and re-channel that energy into the ball. Each pitch she got to send away her discomfort as quickly and powerfully as possible. She became determined and I saw the first hint of a smile all lesson as her mind frame began to change.

-I believe in you. Your parents and instructors believe in you. Do you believe in you?

-What’s holding you back?

There is a differenc between being uncomfortable because something is new, and uncomfortable because you are hurting yourself.

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