The Art of Pitching.

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address. We will email you when we add new stories each month. Thanks!

Note: We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our contact data or lists to third parties. Please see our privacy policy for details.

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

The Art of Pitching.
A little confidence at the right time goes a long way.

By The Foundation for a Better Life

Summertime brings out miniature baseball players, sliding in the dust, chasing errant balls and constantly adjusting caps. It is the season for kids to be out in the sun, working on eye-hand coordination and, most importantly, dugout chants. A game with so much time spent standing around requires clever chants to keep young minds occupied.

But not every kid is so easygoing about the game. Spencer is tall and lanky. At 11 years old, he throws a mean fastball — straight down the tunnel to the strike zone. Spencer is the kind of kid who takes everything seriously. He irons his uniform, makes sure the stripes on his socks match perfectly, keeps his cap clean and his glove oiled. Anything out of place, and Spencer loses control with wild throws that have the umpire ducking for cover. Coach Dan knows this. So he uses Spencer as a closer, pitching the last two innings to ensure the win. It’s as long as Spencer can focus without falling apart.

That’s why, when the championship game came around, and Coach Dan’s team was up by three, Spencer took the mound. He promptly struck out the first two batters. And then it happened; perhaps he noticed a stain on his shirt or a fly on his sleeve. Spencer walked the next five batters. His face was purple, and there was no replacement pitcher left. Coach Dan shouted encouragement, but balls were flying into the backstop like random mortar shells.

Finally, Coach Dan called a timeout and walked to the mound. A few more walks and the championship would be lost. So he put his hands on Spencer’s shoulders and tried to steady the young pitcher.

“Look,” he said. “I know what’s wrong. Your lead foot is facing the wrong way.” And with that, Coach Dan pulled down Spencer’s left sock. “That will remind you to step in the right direction.” At first, Spencer was mortified at being unkempt. But Coach Dan smiled at him. “This always works,” he said. “You’ve thrown a lot of strikes. You can throw three more.”

The next pitch was a strike. Spencer’s teammates cheered loudly. On strike two, the entire team, and Coach Dan, pushed their left socks down to their ankles. On strike three, they all rushed the mound, and Spencer hid his face in his perfectly starched jersey. Facing down a batter is one thing. Facing down failure in front of all your peers is something quite special.

Confidence... PassItOn.com®

Copyright ©2021 The Foundation for a Better Life. All rights reserved.

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments
Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.
How 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth tinkered his way to the technology that broadcast the moon landing.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.
How 11-year-old Jordan Phillips raised $120,000 to help fund cancer treatment.

Recognizing the Need.

Recognizing the Need.
How a neighbor took a disaffected young man under his wing and taught him how to be a man

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

Billy Mills

Billy Mills
The story behind America’s first and only 10,000-meter Olympic champion.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.
How a wrong number, a wrong text and a mix-up led to long-lasting friendships.

Beatrice Shilling

Beatrice Shilling
The motorcycle daredevil who became a mechanical engineer and saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll.

Listening to the Music Inside.

Listening to the Music Inside.
The long journey of Maria Tallchief from the Osage Nation in Oklahoma to prima ballerina in New York City.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.
A German shepherd slept at his owner’s gravesite.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.
How window cleaners brightened the day at a children’s hospital.

A Diamond in the Making.

A Diamond in the Making.
How an everyday superhero saved the day by taking time to go through the garbage to find a stranger’s wedding ring.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.
How one man created a forest the size of Central Park by planting one tree a day.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.
British WWll veteran Captain Tom Moore raised over $45 million for charity at age 100.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

No Strings Attached.

No Strings Attached.
How a 7-year-old girl brings joy to neighbors with her violin.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.
How a men’s rugby team supported one of their own.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

Bigger than Life.

Bigger than Life.
How Premier League superstar Sadio Mané is changing the world beyond soccer.

Something Healthy for All of Us

Something Healthy for All of Us
How 17-year-old Barron Prize Winners Annie and Shirley Zhu provide fresh food for 1,400 people a year.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.
Fortune and fame have allowed the soccer great to take care of his mother after all she has done for him.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.
How one father turned personal tragedy into triumph for thousands of teenagers by creating the Honor Connor Scholarship Fund.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.
How a group of high school boys practiced the art of inclusion.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.
How health care workers saved the day.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

The Future Belongs to Kids.

The Future Belongs to Kids.
So far, things look pretty bright.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.
The day Muhammad Ali rushed to save a stranger who was about to take his own life.

Using the Write Words

Using the Write Words
How an African American Woman Wrote her Way to Freedom.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.
How a Vietnam vet pulled himself out of drug addiction by going back in the past.

Never, Ever Give Up.

Never, Ever Give Up.
The incredible story of the 12-year-old cancer patient who brings joy to half a million children fighting cancer.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

Taking Care.

Taking Care.
How one woman turned a life of neglect into a lifetime of taking care of people.

The History of Us.

The History of Us.
How a football coach develops young men by teaching them their own history.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.
How just noticing makes all the difference in the world.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

Give Peace a Chance.

Give Peace a Chance.
How a Mexican-American Marine negotiated peace speaking Japanese during WWll.

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?
How Kidpreneur Alejandro Buxton is making money for college and helping others.

The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.
Pam Tully dedicates 6 months a year to rescuing baby flying foxes alongside the volunteers who help her.

More Than Just Dancing

More Than Just Dancing
How inclusion helps overcome mental illness.

Playtime is for Everybody.

Playtime is for Everybody.
A dad sells off his business and builds a theme park for disabled kids.

Let the Kids Give it a Try

Let the Kids Give it a Try
How 17-year-old Dasia Taylor developed sutures that detect infection.

A Hero for Accessibility.

A Hero for Accessibility.
How an 8-year-old girl captured the attention of the nation and motivated Congress.

How to Honor Your Mother.

How to Honor Your Mother.
Warrick Dunn played in the NFL for 12 seasons. His most impressive stat: He’s built 200 homes for single mothers. And he’s not done.

Education is for Everyone.

Education is for Everyone.
Reading and writing are the basics of an education. See why a 90-year-old Kenyan great-grandmother went back to primary school.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.
How Inclusion Films is making movies using crew with developmental disabilities.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.
Free-dive record holder Enzo Maiorca rescues a trapped dolphin, then watches as it gives birth.

Fix it Yourself.

Fix it Yourself.
How one couple moved hundreds of miles from home to run a center for pregnant teenage girls.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

Cross Safely.

Cross Safely.
How one man made sure his retirement years were spent helping kids move safely through life.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.

Courage in a New World.

Courage in a New World.
The story of Stagecoach Mary, the first Black woman to deliver mail in the Wild West.