“I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.” – Boris Becker
Maximize the simplicity of the strengths and resources within you that can be controlled to structure and generate the basic power that moves you directly to what you see and need for YOU! It’s that simple and by doing that, the complexities of what may seem difficult situations and obstacles will slowly disappear and replaced by achievement, satisfaction, and joyfulness!!!
4/6/15 (I wrote this to my sons over 2 years ago when Jason was a junior in high school and Christian was still a year from starting his high school career. It seems somewhat prophetic now that J has begun his college baseball career at U of Santa Clara and C committed to play baseball at U of Washington after he graduates in 2019. Coincidence – I’m fairly certain there’s more to it than that.)
“Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.” — Friedrich Schiller
This is when life is so liberating. It’s when the exquisite and magnificent inner-structural components are pieced together so that we are momentarily elevated above the normalcy of our routine existence! Wow, that was quite the combination of “big” words and the reason is that I’m not sure I’m able to precisely describe and articulate the moments where the “grace” and “freedom” converge as mentioned above. I just know when it happens because it just seems and it feels that way!
I sometimes feel guilty because it happens so frequently during the most mundane moments when I slow down, take more in that’s around me, and make those moments not just part of me but able to surround them as opposed to letting them surround and overwhelm me.
When I read this quote, I instinctively went back to younger days and the freedom I felt during the buildup before, and the release of the usual daily boundaries right when I crossed onto the baseball field for any reason. This occurred at almost any age starting from little league through high school and up until those ultra-competitive adult leagues I played in where the quality of the players kept alive my personalized and frenzied addiction to the sport. I guess it was during those times that my life truly belonged to me, free of external obligations and responsibilities. It’s funny but even though other players and coaches surrounded me, sometimes they were just voices in the background while I settled into my own individual state of reality.
I know baseball is considered a team sport but for it to have any particular meaning so that players can perform by and through the inner power that’s possessed, it has to be experienced and measured in accordance by individual models for successful attainment of “baseball nirvana”, devoid of external restrictions or limitations. Is thIs that odd or do you guys ever feel that way because it can’t just be me, can it?
There was no one particular moment that baseball generated such an instinctive and personal state of mind but it was no doubt a combination of: the feeling of a ball settling into my glove; that same ball being released traveling stealthily along different horizontal angles and distances; an unbridled pitch that is captured, corralled, and released under the control of a bat; the acceleration around a base where the body is catapulted by the feet and legs towards the next destination that almost certainly belongs to you; and/or the “punch out” pinch or play to end an inning and jogging calmly off the mound or your position knowing that it’s all you can do to control yourself from exalting in the air and fist-pumping all the way back to the dugout (don’t do that or you’ll invite a retaliatory pitch but then again Jason would welcome getting hit by a pitch and then steal second and maybe third).
I got snippets of those days teaching and coaching you boys but living through you guys just doesn’t come close to replacing those feelings that were left behind. J and C, remember that smile on my face you saw in that old high school video I showed you? There’s no way to recall the precise thoughts in my head or during so many times after when art was inter-spliced with actual, living moments, but I’m guessing you have an idea. But the best part about being a fan of you two in the stands is that I don’t have to restrict myself from expressing the excitement you elicit out of me when you the things that seem to come so natural to you knowing that few others are capable of them.
Oh and don’t ask me to calm it down because I can’t, I won’t, and shouldn’t have to, because it’s my connection with not just you guys but a love of a sport that was created well before and evolved well before you were born! Just deal with it and bust your ass on the field because emotionally, so am I on the other side of it.
“Faith is love taking the form of aspiration.” Think of this quote and apply it to why you are still playing baseball and plan to continue to do so at a high(er) level while others couldn’t or won’t be able to forge the same transference.
Obviously you found love and enjoyment in the sport through discovery and/or influence along while growing up with so many others around you. But who’s left among those who you played against and why? I’m guessing it’s because your sport requires maximum elevation allowing maximum mental, spiritual, and physical evolution leading to maximum execution that has to be harnessed and directed towards specific objectives that form the standards of your own personal goals and aspirations. This my friends is where grace equals freedom and feeling anything different means you’re not thinking the right way, not loving the game so that it loves you back, or letting the wrong things enter in your own individual sphere to disturb what is one of the most magical and rewarding relationships that you’ll experience. Eliminate that from happening and just enjoy where the resulting freedom takes you!
Last thing: Remember the outcome will most times take care of itself if the approach is sound. Not always but once you’re in the right place and where you need to be before you cross the write lines, the only surprises in store should work in your favor and against your opponents but then again, there are really few surprises when you put everything out there that continues to form the masterpieces you create!
So get your mind right because “we seek purpose when we are not in touch with who we really are. When an apple tree discovers who it is, the question ‘what must I do?’ disappears. When you discover who you are (at the deepest part of your being) you will find your purpose.” — Colleen-Joy Page
“To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.”
Life would be so less complicated if all that we wished for flowed to us on a simple stream. All we would have to do is sit and wait for their arrivals.
No such luck nor should it be that way! Our greatest accomplishments have to be measured in some manner. Of course that has to be a study that involves a detailed reassessment of the starting point to its eventual outcome. The flawed efforts and disappointing initial results have to be factored in before recognizing the level of accomplishment.
Take this into account in the planning for your most important goals. The ship you charter towards those goals will never sail along the same route you planned. No matter how you foresee the anticipated obstacles, they present themselves differently or are either replaced with other ones.
DON’T BE FRUSTRATED OR DETERRED! This is just part of the journey and don’t just crash ahead blindly and stubbornly without thought when simple adjustments will get you to your destination quicker.
Accept this. Challenges are created by your decisions, failure to make decisions, delay in acting on decisions, or decisions made by others who by necessity (or unfortunately at times your permission) create challenges. Either way the challenges exist and it is vital that you react to them appropriately, promptly, positively, and with the commitment necessary to overcome them.
You may sometimes doubt whether you have it in you to carry on towards certain dreams because of the complexity of a problem, the effort required, and the uncertainty whether the direction you are headed is towards the proper point on the compass. DO NOT STOP other than to rest, breathe, think, get your bearings, and then keep moving.
Don’t worry about whether you have the ability. The creation of the dream was predicated by what was created in you and, fashioned by what was already within you. Where you are at is at the beginning of the discovery of what has been in you all along and what you will find in the future. Remember – “not overachievement”, just a matter of “under-discovery”!
Read the creation of challenges as set forth above again. Use what you already know about yourself to avoid their creation or just overcome them. Be confident that you have within you what has yet to be uncovered to overwhelm the unexpected and associated complications. I am a man of faith when it comes to you boys so don’t let me and more importantly, yourself down.
(Jason after semi-final win last June – days later repeated as CIF division champions)
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
Boys, you may think it’s the victories that were finally secured that defines the ultimate measure and reward of what has been achieved. However you’d be mistaken if that’s all you base your accomplishments upon.
It must be remembered that it was the strength, determination, and resilience that you had to call upon and generate – even when convenience seemingly begged for succumbing or surrendering under the strain of the fight – that revealed more about who you are and will serve to be the genesis for the magnitude and greatness of what you can achieve throughout the journey ahead of you. It’s the unseen and solitary efforts that conquered any uncertainty that were just as meaningful as the jubilance of the final triumph because they will carry on well after the exultation subsides!
“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple
You know when you two came into the world and I first held you in these humble arms, I had no expectations or visions that you’d eventually conquer the world. But if you want to conquer any part of YOUR world or anything outside of it, know that I’ll always be behind you to support and help you every step of the journey ahead. And you want to know why beyond the basic fact that I’m your father and love you? It’s because I know enough about both of you to believe that you can!
“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.” – Natalie Goldberg
Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and blessings that have been bestowed upon me as I approach the moments that await me. I humbly ask that I feel the strength of Your presence so that all will be on display through my most concerted and definitive efforts not only for their rewards, but because anything less devalues each of those gifts and blessings, and fail to fittingly honor You and the parents who brought me to this place with the unconditional love and support that has and always will be present for the days I shall exist. Now let’s play ball filled with joy, free of doubt or uncertainty, because this moment calls for it while You, my parents, and their parents, watch over me. Joe Dico
“Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.” – Orison Swett Marden
You know my remarkable children of unlimited promise, my good Lord blessed my prayers with the birth of two healthy sons who’ve grown within the brilliance of the drawings I created in my mind and heart and then so much more beyond that. Then on top of that, He answered your prayers by giving you a life of opportunities that you’ve discovered and captured. He’s now left it to you to answer many of the prayers and beliefs for yourself that you have faith in because as one would assume, He’s fairly occupied with more serious matters that confound our world.
Remember my quote: “Be the god of your own dreams” and produce the answers and results you want, even if it means taking chances out of your comfort zone. Why? Because God is now waiting and relying on you to take your own actions to reward His faith in you, my children, and average efforts only produce average results (if any at all). Upon reflection, I really do wish I understood that In my youth but then again, I either didn’t have someone from where I stand today to enlighten me to those things that I’ve afforded you to consider, or did not listen when I should have and give it the attention it deserved when it was relayed to me.
You need to understand that you can control the momentum, pace, and direction of your own fate within the design of His supreme, yet undiscovered, plan He has for you. So, be diligent and determined in your efforts so you reveal all the best that may be in store for you because as I see it, God is waiting on you, not the other way around. Make us both proud because we believe in you more than you can understand but only you can validate that faith so make it happen!
“Dream big and dare to fail. ” – Norman Vaughan
Boys, at this stage of your young lives and when you begin to think you have done all you can do and reached the ceiling and outer boundaries of what you can achieve, please ablige your father’s belief in you and do the following:
Explore, discover, and create more with what has not been found by going deeper into your caves because what you will uncover for yourself will likely surprise, shock, and amaze you by the revelations awaiting within, and what you fear that makes you hesitate to go farther is only an aberration of what likely won’t occur.
Trust me – there is so much more within you waiting to be revealed and you’re so close to it by venturing outside the zones of your comfort and taking those steps because what may not be seen yet is only simple, optimistic decisions and choices away that in hindsight were the best ones to make after all!
(Keeping competing simple)
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” – Calvin Coolidge
The key to being better than your opposition: play harder, play better, make adjustments quicker, and adapt to your situation and access your strengths sooner before the other guy!
Or as Nathan Bedford Forrest, the great confederate general, put it: “get there the fastest with the mostest!”