3 Things My Dad Taught Me About Baseball and Blogging

I am the oldest of four girls in my family. While my Mom taught us how to bake cookies, sew pillows and plant a garden, my Dad taught us how to play softball. In fact, my Dad was our Little League softball coach.

Coaching girls was a new concept for my Dad, who grew up in a household with four brothers. For instance, he certainly didn’t understand that girls cry when they get yelled at for screwing up on the field.

He might as well been Tom Hanks from A League of Their Own – “There’s no crying in baseball!”

My Dad slowly learned he had to employ a LOT of patience with us and our entire team. He spent a lot of time drilling the basics in our head and getting us to focus on the game instead of picking dandelions in the outfield or drawing in the dirt with our feet. (Of course, I certainly never did such things).

My Dad’s coaching advice from 20 years ago still sticks with me today. And in fact, I think his lessons go far beyond the game of softball and have taught me a lot about how to be a successful blogger. I think they might just help you too.

Lesson #1: Practice every day

I was a pitcher for our softball team and my Dad insisted that I get in at least 40 pitches every day. When he would come in from working, he would always ask if I had gotten my pitches in. If I hadn’t, he marched me to the backyard to practice.

Pitching was all about being on target, consistently. Sure, throwing a few strikes is good, but it’s even better if you can do it over and over again.

The same goes for blogging. It’s not enough to write a killer post once in a blue moon. To grow your readership and capture attention online, you have to deliver the goods each and every time to get your readers coming back for more.

Are you writing every day? If not, you should be.

The more you write, the more focused your posts will be and the quicker you’ll improve. You’ll be more likely to deliver blockbuster posts on a consistent basis if you spend a few minutes each day honing your craft.

Lesson #2: Master the fundamentals

In softball, like all sports, mastering the fundamentals is crucial. Games can be won or lost by how well you can execute the basics.

One of the skills my Dad always preached to us about was the importance of making sure our gloves hit the dirt when fielding balls. How many times have you seen a ground ball go between a kid’s legs? Yeah, my Dad worked hard to prevent that.

The best blogs in the world have spent a lot of time mastering the basics. They consistently write killer headlines, produce good content and masterfully engage readers.

If you don’t have those skills down pat, it’s time to start practicing instead of worrying about things like which plugins to install on your blog or changing your blog design yet again.

Focusing your energy on the blogging basics will help you continually improve the content of your blog and help you grow a loyal readership. Once you’ve mastered these things, you can spend time on the advanced stuff.

Lesson #3: Keep your eye on the ball

Although it’s one of the most cliche’ terms in baseball, it’s important advice – keep your eye on the ball.

I still remember images of girls spinning in full circles, blindly hoping the bat would make content with the ball. My Dad would spend a lot of time helping us watch the ball all the way until it made contact with the bat. It’s amazing how that simple little step made all the difference.

When in comes to blogging, it’s easy to be distracted at what other people are doing online and then swinging wildly for the fences in hopes you get noticed online. That’s a mistake.

If you want to knock it out of the park, you have to stay true to YOUR goals and YOUR strategy. Keep focused on what you do best and work hard to continue providing value to your readers. You’ll be much more likely to hit a home run that way.

What baseball lessons would you add that apply to blogging? What has your Dad taught you?

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Dad, who taught me about a whole lot more about life than baseball. I love you, Dad!

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Laura Click

Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

15 replies on “3 Things My Dad Taught Me About Baseball and Blogging”

Laura, you knocked this one out of the park! 😉 I love the lessons learned in baseball and how it can apply to blogging.
 Very well written and points well made.
 I need to write everyday – I don’t.
 I write for work and clients plenty, but my own creative writing, not so much.
 I write when a post hits me.
 I think about them a lot and constantly have inspiration for new post ideas, but I’m pretty lousy at writing those down on a consistent basis.
 I recently found 2 different note pads with 6 different topics each – some I have already covered, some yet to be covered.
 I think I need a blogging journal.
 What do you do to capture your ideas, inspirations and musings?

Ok, so now I’m inspired to go do a Dad post! 🙂

It’s amazing how many things we can learn about blogging by looking at other lessons in life!
 

Yes, writing for your blog every day is helpful. But, if you can’t do that, you’re at least WRITING. Because you write every day for your clients, you are still practicing. I say that counts!

As for capturing ideas, I have two ways for doing it – I have a notebook that I keep with me where I can jot down ideas and I also have a running Google Docs document that I can access from anywhere where I can put down my ideas. As I’m working on something else and a blog post pops into my head, I’ll head over to the Google docs document and capture my thoughts as best I can. Then, I go back later and flesh it out into a post. I think I usually have anywhere from 10-20 posts hanging out in that document at a time! So, I guess that I do have a blogging journal. It really helps to have a bunch of ideas started that I can go back to and finish up.

Let me know when you write your Dad post – I’d love to see it!

It’s amazing how many things we can learn about blogging by looking at other lessons in life!
 

Yes, writing for your blog every day is helpful. But, if you can’t do that, you’re at least WRITING. Because you write every day for your clients, you are still practicing. I say that counts!

As for capturing ideas, I have two ways for doing it – I have a notebook that I keep with me where I can jot down ideas and I also have a running Google Docs document that I can access from anywhere where I can put down my ideas. As I’m working on something else and a blog post pops into my head, I’ll head over to the Google docs document and capture my thoughts as best I can. Then, I go back later and flesh it out into a post. I think I usually have anywhere from 10-20 posts hanging out in that document at a time! So, I guess that I do have a blogging journal. It really helps to have a bunch of ideas started that I can go back to and finish up.

Let me know when you write your Dad post – I’d love to see it!

Aww, Laura, you reminded me of my own father, who was among 10 brothers (he was second to last) and 4 sisters–and then had 5 daughters. He was always very gentle and affectionate, I think because he was afraid we’d break, lol. But no, it didn’t take much to make us cry in any case.

Headlines, content, and engagement=the 3 pillars of blogging, perhaps. I think
 a lot of us (okay, I) sometimes get so concerned that it’s not good-looking enough, that it’s not as sharp and decked out. And then I remind myself: content is king. I go to some oogly blogs regularly because I like to read them, not because I like watching
 some button dance a little jig for me every time I click on it.

Wow – that is a LARGE family!!!
 

I like what you said – I agree those items are the three pillars of blogging. Yes, design is important, but I would argue that the other things should come first. Thanks for the great thoughts!

Wow – that is a LARGE family!!!
 

I like what you said – I agree those items are the three pillars of blogging. Yes, design is important, but I would argue that the other things should come first. Thanks for the great thoughts!

Laura, This is great advice. You are so right that it is easy to forget about the basics and get distracted with plugins, SEO, etc. I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago when I joined your Tribe, and you really have a lot of great and consistent content — you truly seem to be following your own advice.

I think you summed it up perfectly: “Keep focused on what you do best and work hard to continue providing value to your readers. You’ll be much more likely to hit a home run that way.”
 

Great post Laura. Agree with Erica — you knocked it out of the park with this one!

This is a beautiful tribute, and I would posit that these tips are not just great for softball and blogging but also for most other things that can come your way. Practice really can make perfect (but only if you REALLY practice). Learning the fundamentals as you practice gives you a rock solid foundation. It’s all great wisdom that you present in a really touching and phenomenal way. Great post!

Funny, I was talking about this last night.
  My Dad taught me the best thing I’ve ever been taught by anyone – how to dig in and figure something out myself.
  I learned it doing math homework with him every night.
  I don’t know where I’d be without that – I certainly would not have taken as much math as I did!

I also played softball and learned countless life lessons there.
  Thanks for this, Laura.
  Awesome post.

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