Not All Dogs Are Poodles

By Coach Ron Wolforth-

 

As I was finishing up my senior year in college, my faculty advisor informed me in the fall that I needed to choose one class from a set of three to four electives to round out my degree and to graduate in May of 1982.

 

I looked them over and casually, almost haphazardly, decided on a semester of “Logic”. (The time it was offered seemed to fit my schedule best.)

 

This is one of the many reasons my faith in a watchful, loving Creator is so very strong.

 

This “oh by the way” course would end up changing the way I think and react for the rest of my life.

 

I’m not saying that I am the real-life version of Spock from the Star Fleet Enterprise, or Sherlock Holmes, or Patrick Jane from the “Mentalist”, but that simple class brought a new way of thinking and behaving that is still shaping my life today.

 

My professor was not remarkable or even memorable. However, I do remember sitting in class about halfway through the semester and coming to the very painful realization that a great deal of the problems that I had encountered in my 22 years of life were 100% self-imposed.

 

In short, the way I was viewing problems was, indeed, often my biggest problem.

 

I don’t have the time in a simple blog to adequately detail my full transition but I’m going to give you a central tenet of what I learned, and I hope you might find some nuggets in there for you.

 

Early on in the logic class, we talked about the precepts of logic and why they were the foundations of clear thinking and syllogistic reasoning. This is almost certainly why I love “Sherlock Holmes” remakes and series such as the “Mentalist”.

 

One of those earlier logic dissertations I remember clearly was:

 

All poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles.

 

I’m sure for many of you, this phrase may seem unremarkable. It is “obvious”. It seemed this way to me as well in the beginning.

 

But as our professor went on to explain, it was very, very common that people, especially those under duress or in emotionally charged environments, would be extremely susceptible in taking that simple logic and making inferential leaps, exaggerations, aggrandizements, embellishments, and hyperbole to the point that it has deleterious effects.

 

In other words, if we are not very careful, emotion could seriously cloud our judgement and therefore, negatively shape our behavior and our decision making.

 

We are emotional creatures. Emotion and passion are important to us. But when it is not balanced, emotion can be extremely dangerous and detrimental.

 

I see this unfold in our world every single day and it is often not a good thing. Social media often exacerbates this tendency of poor judgement.

 

Wars are created in this way.

 

Road rage, riots, altercations, brawls, and tribalism are created from this lack of logic and deductive reasoning.

 

Turning specifically to baseball: Parents, coaches, and players are also susceptible to emotions interfering with clear and productive thought.

 

Case in point:

 

I walked four in one inning yesterday ———-> I suck as a pitcher; I have no command and will never get to college.

 

I gave up six runs in one inning yesterday ———-> I got rocked and I suck as a pitcher and will never get a scholarship.

 

I only throw 83mph as a senior in HS ———-> I suck as a pitcher; I’ve got no juice and will never get to pitch beyond HS.

 

I’m a senior in HS and I don’t have a college scholarship offer yet ———-> The system is stacked against me, it’s so political so why would I even try?

 

All of these conclusions are severely clouded by emotion and unless corrected, could actually become an obstacle of our own device.

 

Here is how I would reframe those:

 

I walked four in one inning yesterday ———-> This means I threw sixteen pitches that the umpire viewed as balls. Forget about all the tangential contributors to that performance that are outside of my DIRECT control. What exact role in that experience did I play? What did I learn from that experience? What specifically can I do to improve my training today to assure that I’m enhancing the things that I can control that will improve my performance in this specific area?

 

I gave up six runs yesterday ———-> Forget about all the tangential contributors to that performance that are outside of my DIRECT control. What exact role in that experience did I play? What did I learn from that experience? What specifically can I do to improve my training today to assure that I’m enhancing the things that I can control that will improve my performance in this specific area?

 

I only throw 83mph as a senior in HS ———-> What velocity do I need to be at in twelve months to give myself a chance to pitch beyond high school?  What specifically can I do to improve my training today to assure that I’m enhancing the things that I can control that will improve my performance in this specific area and reach that goal?

 

I’m a senior in HS and I don’t have a college scholarship offer yet ———-> Forget about all the tangential contributors that are outside of my DIRECT control. What specifically can I do to improve my opportunities to obtain a scholarship?

 

Emotion is important, needed, and appropriate at very specific times.

 

Logic, in my opinion, should dominate our primary daily operating process and be prevalent in our daily interactions with others. Logic keeps you thinking clearly and in balance.

 

Develop your awareness of when emotions are taking over and possibly clouding your judgement and keep your emotions in check.

 

Your emotions are good servants but truly awful masters.

 

Whenever you find yourself all wound up about something, take a deep breath and remind yourself:

 

All poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles.

1 + 1 does not = 7

 Slow down. Think through this.

 

Until we talk again,

Coach Wolforth 

– – – – – – – –

 

Important TBR Updates

 

 

 

  • Dates have also been announced for our 3rd Annual Elite Catchers Boot Camp which will be December 10th-12th and our Alumni Boot Camp January 8th-9th. More information available soon at https://www.texasbaseballranch.com/events/

 

Please call (936) 588-6762 or email us: info@texasbaseballranch.com
for more details or to sign up for any of these options.

 

Previous post:

Next post:

Google