This week I started coaching little league baseball for the first time. My two boys are on the same team and we’re pretty excited around here.
But going into our first practice, I knew I better temper my expectations. Typical seven, eight, and nine-year-olds have hardly been on a baseball field, much less developed the fundamentals of playing the game. Hand-eye coordination is spotty and attention spans are short (we’re talking five minutes short at our first practice).
All baseball players at this age have major holes in their game. They might have 17 things wrong with their swing alone! But kids can’t fix 17 things at one time. So my plan is to focus on one or two things with each player. If I’m able to help them reduce 17 down to 15 by the end of the season, that’s progress. And then next year their coach can help them get down to 12 or 13.
If we’re honest, we are all in little league.
We are imperfect people with real limitations and real-world constraints, and the way we lead change or grow in any area is essentially the same way kids get better at hitting baseballs.
If we try to change everything at once, should we really expect to make meaningful progress?