Yogi Knew Baseball (and a few other things)

“You can’t think and hit the ball at the same time.”
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra 1925-2015

Yogi Berra in 1949

Imagine this scenario: “Okay, he’s winding up. Hmmm, looks like a fastball. Yep, it’s a fastball. Start the swing…now! Imagine going through that process while the ball is traveling 60 feet at 90 m.p.h. (132 feet per second).

It takes practice to hit a baseball–lots of it. Pitchers send fastballs, curves, sliders and the occasional spitball. Batters practice constantly to keep their eye and skills sharp.

The sainted Mr Berra was right: you can’t think and hit the ball at the same time.  When life throws us the curves and the sliders, our responses as recovering people need to be automatic: we fall into our program without thinking about it. Otherwise our lives get complicated in a hurry, and addicts don’t do complicated well. After our heads are in a safe place we can take the time to think, but our immediate reaction has to be that of a sober person instead of automatically diving for shelter into the old ways and the old places.

Yogi practiced batting two or three times a week for his 19 seasons of professional baseball, and you can bet on a lot of work before he got to The Show. Because of that, he hit 358 home runs and batted in another 1,430 runners, despite being smaller (5′ 7″) than most of his peers.

The 12th Step doesn’t read “practice these principles in all our affairs” for nothing. Practice makes perfect.

[Emphasis mine]

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