The “Time Out”

As first seen in The Guys Fishing Weekly – Subscribe Here

Bottom of the ninth. Up 3-2 with one out, and my pitcher just walked two batters in a row. As the head coach, I gotta calm the kid’s nerves. It’s a no brainer…call “time out” and make a visit to the mound.

The best advice you can give a kid in this situation is the truth. I’m a firm believer in authenticity; I don’t want to beat around the bush. The sooner a young competitor can learn some of the harsh lessons competition offers, the better. Opens the door for improvement.

So, I tell him, “Look, you know how to pitch. And that kid knows how to hit. If you execute your pitches, he won’t hit. Trust yourself, because I do. Take a deep breath and soak it all in.”

My pitcher threw one more pitch after that discussion. Was the “time out” valuable?

As a sports fan, I see this happen in every sport, multiple times during a game. The use of the “time out” brings opportunity. It allows a reset for any number of things…momentum changer, physical break, mental lapse…and gives the involved players, coaches, refs, and fans a chance to get their shit together. That is why the “time out” was invented…to allow everyone who has lost their shit, to get it back together. Period!

The thing is, in life, we need the same thing. I feel like we need it even more in life than in sports. With all the different hats I wear in my life, it is an impossibility to keep it all together. I have shit all over the place on any given day. And the only way to get it all back together, is to call a “time out.”

And it just so happens that my favorite “time out” is fishing.

It’s a must and a chance for me to reset. I am purposeful in when I call my fishing “time outs.” They come at least once a month for me, but way more often from June through October, due to the fact that I am a teacher and have more time in the summer. Also, because that’s when the best trout fishing presents itself in the Rockies.

And just like the “time out” I called for my pitcher in a tight spot during that game, I use mine to pause, reflect, soak it all in, and learn. That’s the whole point; that’s what “getting your shit together” means in my world. Pause, reflect, soak it all in, and learn. When I’ve done that, I am ready to continue.

Here’s the best part…when I am on the river, there are multiple times during the fishing day when I call a “time out.” I guess technically, it is a “time out” during a “time out.” Not sure if you would call it a “double time out” or a “mini time out.” Either way, taking a break from the casting, hauling, retrieving, tying, catching, and netting is necessary…and incredibly helpful.

To stop, take a seat on the bank, and just sit in the sunshine to soak it all in is one of the best parts of the experience. It is here where I can calm my mind, nerves, and breath to notice where I am and what is happening all around. Listening to the water and observing it’s movements teaches me about the habitat of the fish. This process in its entirety has built a foundation of knowledge that helps me enjoy fly fishing on a whole other level.

The “time out” allows me to be more present, something that can easily get lost in the business and busyness of life. Presence allows for richer experience, the ultimate gift of the “time out.”

In case you were wondering, my pitcher got a ground ball double play with that last pitch he threw, and we won the game. He was ecstatic. I like to think it’s the same for me when I call my own time outs in life. Although they may not make me win every game, I do know the “time out” is invaluable.

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