In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]
"Don't be afraid of it, Son. You have to step into it, make hard, persuasive contact. Let it know you are in charge!"
"But dad, it's thinking the same thing! I'm not really ready for this."
"Joey, treat it like the rubber and softballs you practiced with before. Be confident that your helmet will protect you. If you believe the physics lessons, trust Newton."
Joey glared at his dad with clenched jaw. As much as he feared the hardball's revenge on his fragile body, he didn't want to disappoint his dad. After sighing a single, deep, bracing sigh, he stepped back into the batter's box and stared down his foe. Joey adjusted his sun-bleached, blue helmet with its curious dents and smudges, raised his bat and grit his teeth.
As the pitching machine whined and growled, he mumbled his unique mantras. "Force equals mass times acceleration; pressure equals force divided by area; momentum equals mass times velocity! I got this! I'm bigger and stronger and...." Whoosh!
"Strike one. You have to swing at it, son. Come on, pose, stance, lift a leg and step into it. Mass times acceleration, remember?
"Yeah Dad I...." Whoosh!
"Strike two. This is it, Joey. Imagine it's two men on base. Knock it over the fence and bring them both home."
CRRRRRACK! "Joey! Joey! You're okay. Can you get up? What happened?" He felt his dizziness fade as his dad pulled him off the ground; felt his strong, apologetic hug and slow remark, "You did great son. Facing it down was a victory. THIS is why the pros practice too. Are you okay?"
Joey took a few seconds to answer. "Dad, the last I remember, I saw the red stitches on the ball slowly spinning in stretched-out-time. The ball slowwwwwly grew bigger and bigger and I wondered why. Then it hit me!"
Dad laughed, "Another victory! Your laughing at the ball means you beat it. Next time, a home run for sure."