I spent almost all of my days as a competitive athlete in a position where all the other players were in my field of vision.
From the age of 10 until I gave up baseball at 20, I was a catcher. I spent my entire career in foul territory, observing the other players in fair, the entire diamond before me.
In basketball I was what we now call a “point guard.” As I brought the ball up court, the other nine players were in front of me.
As a high school and college football player, I was a defensive safety. No one was to get behind me; and at every snap, 21 other players were in my field of vision.
I’ve always known that participation in sports shaped very much of my character; but only recently – nearer the end of my professional career than to the start – am I seeing the whole field and appreciating the fullness of that influence. For example:
To be the one who asks for the fast ball or curve. Or the change-up when it’s needed.
To be the one who sets up each play and delivers the pass to get it started. And watching others score.
To be the one who makes the tackle when no one else is left to do so.
And most of all, to see the whole field; to see all of one’s teammates and observe how they all are indispensable to a winning performance.