top of page

How Failing My Son Made Me A Better Father & Business Partner

It was a scorching hot July afternoon in Panama City, FL. with the kind of heat and humidity that left you soaked the minute you stepped outside.

It was day 5 of my son's big week-long travel baseball tournament and I was the coach of the team.

Everyone was exhausted at this point...coaches, parents and definitely the players. 

One of my steadfast rules was well known...If you cry, you leave the dugout. No exceptions. 

At this point my son only had 1 hit all tournament. I had moved him to the bottom of the line-up. It was an unfortunate time to fall into a slump.

I watched in agony as my son took a called strike 3, for yet another strikeout. 

Then he started to cry. He had never done that before.

Disgusted, I threw him out of the dugout...sternly telling him that he was embarrassing himself.

He came back 2 minutes later...still upset...and I threw him out again!


Baseball is more than just a game. 

It is a rich source of life lessons that extend far beyond the diamond. 

From the strategy employed by the teams to the resilience shown by the players, baseball mirrors many aspects of life.

This year's Superbowl was the most watched game in history. The two starting QBs had something in common: They both played competitive baseball. 

Here is a great article from the WSJ on their baseball careers and how it helped them in football...and life. (Link

Regardless of the level of baseball played, here are some attributes that are learned that also translate into life lessons: 

  • Dealing with Failure

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Patience and Perseverance

  • Discipline and Focus

  • Adapting to Change

  • Respect for Rules and Fair Play

Baseball is much more than a game; it is a microcosm of life. 

The lessons it teaches are invaluable. 

I failed my Son on that hot July afternoon. 

I knew it minutes after it happened. I felt immense shame and guilt for my overreaction.

There is a picture of that team hanging in our basement. I am sure when my Son sees it he has fond memories of a week playing baseball at the beach with his friends.

When I see the picture I am reminded of the guilt I still feel about how I treated a 10 year old boy.

But, baseball is about dealing with failure and adapting. 

It has been 7 years since that summer and I have never spoken to him like that since. 

Everything is based on positive reinforcement. 

He is entering his Junior baseball season next week.

Here is how I have used this lesson in business.

  • I never raise my voice or show frustration towards an employee or business partner. 

  • I take care to be overly calm when mistakes are made.

  • If something upsets me, I sit on it for at least 24 hours.

This was not how I approached business or life before that hot July baseball game.


bottom of page