The next morning, without looking up from his cereal bowl and in a very matter-of-fact tone of voice, Todd told his dad that he had decided to give hitting another try. His decision couldn’t have come at a better time. There were only four games left in the second half of the season. The Angels would need to win 3 of the 4 games in order to earn a place in the post-season tournament without a play-off. Needless to say, their chances of achieving that goal were far greater if Todd could somehow find a way to regain his early season form, a fact that wasn’t lost on Todd as he walked over and placed his cereal bowl in the sink.
“I was wondering if you would mind taking me up to the batting cages and throwing me a few buckets of balls,” Todd said, unsure of how his dad would react to his sudden change of heart. “I also was thinking that maybe we could set up a hitting station in the backyard, with a net and a tee, so that I could practice on my own, while you’re at work,” Todd continued.
Todd’s father simply smiled, put his arm around his son, and headed up to the park.
Over the next two weeks, Todd fully applied himself. He went to the batting cages 2 hours a day on the weekends, and every day after school, he spent at least an hour hitting balls off the soft plastic tee into the net in his backyard. Sometimes Todd’s dad would come home early from work and place balls on the tee for him or toss them up from the side and then stand back as Todd ripped one after another into the middle of the net, while Kelsey sat quietly, attentively, knowingly on the porch nearby.
Slowly, but steadily, Todd’s confidence grew.