Guest post by Samer.

Whenever I need to be reminded of its message, I sit down to re-read New York magazine’s Buster Olney dissect baseball’s most bulletproof mind in “The Confidence Man”.

The score was 2-1, the Yankees leading the Colorado Rockies, but that was immaterial. Rivera believes his purpose is the same, no matter the situation: Retire the hitter who is standing in the batter’s box as quickly as possible. And after you get him, retire the next one, and the one after that… Helton stepped into the batter’s box, but Rivera didn’t see him. “Sometimes I see only the catcher’s glove,” Rivera says. “Sometimes there is nothing else. But sometimes I see the hitter too.” When does he see the hitter? When the hitter is particularly dangerous, like Boston’s Manny Ramirez? Or when the tying run is on base and he has to be a little more careful? “No, no, no, it’s nothing like that,” Rivera says. “I see the hitter when he’s moved in the box” —- Rivera lifts his hand, pointing at an imaginary batter in an imaginary batter’s box —- “like when he’s moved closer to the plate or changed his stance… I see when the batter has moved his feet,” Rivera says, “and then I make my own adjustment.” And then he sees only the catcher’s glove, the hitter once again invisible.

The alternative is to yield vast parcels of our mind’s real estate to the pressure of the moment, the lights, and the crowd. In the 2010 World Series, the talented 24 year-old Rangers reliever Derek Holland took the stage in the 8th inning of Game 2 and walked Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz on four straight balls. Feeling the weight of the world’s eyes, he was desperate to avoid a base hit. Despite an impressive postseason, he was visibly nervous. He walked Cody Ross on four pitches to load the bases and subsequently forced a run on five pitches to Aubrey Huff. He faced three batters and walked all three with twelve balls and one strike. All those base runners scored, earning Holland an infinite ERA for the World Series.

Let me tell you something you probably already know. You probably already know 90% of what you need to know; you just get distracted. Don’t you ever realize you’re pretty damn likeable when you’re relaxed and cool?

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you. No exceptions. There are skills to polish, but that’s it. You don’t suck at life, you don’t suck at girls. Every negative thought you’ve internalized about your worth is a lie. Let me say that again: every negative thought you’ve told yourself when you “screwed something up” or got rejected is an absolute lie and should be treated as such. Do you remember the most hurtful lie anyone has ever told you? What’d it feel like? Remember that mix of sheer anger, shock, and confusion? Didn’t you want to tell them off and cut them out of your life? Treat the lies to yourself as such! Some of us so skillfully condition ourselves to self-deprecation, we aren’t even aware of it. We make sense of the world by deluding ourselves into believing our worth – or lack thereof – explains our lack of ‘success.’ Refuse to be the dog who returns to his vomit. You’re at the top of your game when you’re relaxed and confident.
When your mind isn’t holding you back, you’re completely free. You’re free of the high expectations, the anxiety, the tension, the worry of results or outcomes. Block out everything you can’t control and focus only on the catcher’s glove: Make it Fun.

That’s it! Forget the robotic process and the routines and be determined to enjoy yourself! Think of nothing else other than finding a hot girl who appreciates having fun. Nothing else matters. If every approach you attempted fails, CONGRATULATIONS! Failure is the quickest teacher, so applaud yourself for creating an opportunity to discover the style that works best for you. In fact, genuinely enjoying this process is the most fundamental aspect of getting good fast.

And when you’re having fun, guess what? They’ll have fun. Get out there and create some memories and hilarious stories! I once approached a beautiful brunette at a club and told her we should play a game where we had to guess the other person’s nationality, loser buys a drink. So we start the game and she’s engaged at first, but the DJ turns the music back on and her group of friends walks off, and she starts looking disinterested. I could tell it was headed for a fizzle, so I asked her what she was and she told me she was Italian.

A couple hours went by before the club closed, and I caught her outside looking for a cab. I didn’t think she’d remember who I was, so I approached her again, saying “Excuse me, you have this captivating aura about you. You must be Italian.” I was met by a look of complete shock, and her two friends were mystified. All of the clamored to know more about how I knew, and I still laugh to this day thinking about it.

Physical escalation can be an area of anxiety for a lot of guys, but it doesn’t have to be. As you are learning, accept some moments will be awkward; you don’t know what to do and the right time to do it. But when you are having fun and going for what you want, you can mute those moments or make them hilarious. Ladies want you to take control and go for what you want! I remember flirting with one girl, playfully pushing things as far as she would let me. I was trying to lay on top of her, and she teasingly fought me off with her legs. I would grab her leg, push it out of the way, and asked her if that’s all she had. She laughed and started to push me a little harder. I pushed her legs away again, and again she brought them back as she grinned. She liked to be pursued, and she wasn’t afraid to fight a little harder. So I got a little higher to attack her from a different angle, and then something metaphysical happened. A terrifying weave of God’s wrath and her protective father divinely possessed her right leg and the playful push away mutated itself into a swing of absolute force that was precisely guided, as it were, at my vulnerable groin. She immediately fell into a coma of laughter whilst I fell into a fetal position on my bed.

Obviously not what I expected at the beginning of the night. And had I sat online and planned my date out, it would not have involved me ended up in a fetal position grabbing my nuts. But I didn’t expect anything. I didn’t plan anything. I wasn’t basing my actions and behavior on her. I was basing it on me, and what I found to be fun. I wasn’t throwing to the batter. I was throwing to the catcher’s glove.

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23 Responses to The Catcher’s Glove

  1. Zen says:

    I gotta feel that if a girl kicks you in the balls as hard as she can and then laughs at you, then this is not a good thing.

    I mean wow. That can’t be good. On a lot of levels. Its painful its humiliating, and the fact that she laugh seems to show she is not even sorry, which too me says this is a very self-centered girl who I would not want to be with anyways.

    Am I missing something? I do not want to spend time with girls who think it is alright for them to hurt me. Enough people have hurt me in my life already.

  2. MikeG says:

    Zen you are mising something and its the vibe. They’re in his bed basically play wrestling haveing a good time being playfull, jovial. An errand kick to the nuts happens in this context alot ( its happend to me before as well) shes not trying to punt you, it happens though. IT is a humurous situation so she laughed, guys getting kicked in the nuts is some meaningfull % of American comedy so we are conditioned to laugh when it happens. Have fun and dont assume people are trying to hurt you when everyone is haveing fun

    • Zen says:

      But everyone is not having fun. I’m not. There are only 2 people involved in this scenario. So 50% of the people are having fun (the girl) and the other 50% of the people are writhing in pain, not to mention humiliation.

      If American comedy conditions us to laugh when a guy gets kicked in the balls maybe there is something wrong with American comedy. Are we conditioned to laugh when women are in serious pain?

      • Zen says:

        This brings up an idea I have been struggling to express for a while. I think American culture conditions women to treat men like shit (especially TV). Most people cannot thing for themselves they just imitate what they see on TV (men and women). So in America women chronically treat men like shit and both men and women accept it as normal, without even a second thought.

        People don’t even seem to notice the double standard, much the way they didn’t notice the (different) double standards in the 40s and 50s.

        I have basically given up on American women. I plan to move to some other part of the world with a radically different culture where women are taught to care about men’s happiness and treat them well (for example Brazil)

      • Alvar says:

        Gee Zen, he will get over the pain – we always do, or at least I always did. Has any chick ever kick you in the nuts and laugh or are you just analysing the whole thing in your head?

        I’d probably rather having her laugh over such incident than getting her all concern.

        Thinking of it, I usually do laugh at these type of incidents when they happen to my friends (not knocking the nuts, but similar.) It’s not like my friends suspect I don’t care for them. In fact, they are probably reassured that I am relaxed and not making much of a fuss of it. Like MikeG says, it’s the vibe that matters.

  3. Zen says:

    I still think I’m onto something about US culture here. Especially with American comedy conditioning us to laugh when men are kicked in the balls.

    If one of your female friends got punched in the gut and was doubled over in pain, would you treat that the same as if one of your male friends got kicked in the balls and was doubled over in pain?

    • Zen says:

      Similarly if I hit a girl as hard as I could and laughed at her, would she just get over it? I see no reason to tolerate double standards, at least not double standards that make people think they have permission to physically assault me.

    • Alvar says:

      I don’t know, I have no idea how serious that would be <– can't relate to that pain, possible injury.
      But if a friend of mine walks into a glass door and hits it with the face I'd probably laugh – man or woman. And I'd certainly hope he or she would get over it rather soon, that is the way I am. It does not mean that I don't care; rather the opposite.
      Like Mark says in another thread, I hope you can find the help you need. Wishing you the best of luck.

      • Zen says:

        “I hope you can find the help you need”… yeah that’s not really related to this subject. Kinda rude actually, I don’t want your pity, I only wanted your thoughts on the subject we were discussing. You did not respond to any of my actual points. If you really “wish me the best” then just talk to me like a normal human being and stay on subject please.

        Getting back to what you said: Walking into a glass door is one thing, but when one person hits another person that is a different category. Walking into a glass door is totally different.

        • Mark says:

          The only double-standard going on here is you, implying that somehow if a woman hurts a man while playing around with him, it’s not OK, whereas it otherwise would be.

          Getting hit in the balls is pretty funny in many situations. Gender has little to do with it.

          • Zen says:

            Huh? I legitimately don’t understand what ur trying to say. Rest assured though I do not favor girls kicking guys in the balls, whether they are playing around or not. So there’s no double standard there.

            I assume the 2nd part is a joke? Because I have never met a girl who got kicked in her balls, so gender does seem to have something to do with it.

          • Splinter says:

            That’s not what Zen was saying. He was pointing out that it’s culturally acceptable to sexually humiliate men but not women. That’s the double standard he’s pointing out. He wasn’t arguing that the sexual humiliation of women should likewise be okay, but that the sexual humiliation of men should not be okay. He is arguing in favor of male dignity. I agree with him. You and the others seem to hold men in very low regard.

          • Splinter says:

            And Zen is also correct that gender has everything to do with it. Otherwise, Mark, go ahead and kick a woman as hard in the groin as you can tonight, and let us know how that goes.

  4. Lithe says:

    no matter what your in bed with a hot girl..

    • Zen says:

      Its exactly that kind of low-self esteem mentality that is keeping modern men down. Having a hot girl in your bed is not some kind of privilege, you should not merely be grateful that she has graced you with her divine presence. What matters is how the girl TREATS you.

      Being hot does not give a girl a blank check to do whatever she wants (like for example kick you in the balls). If you are willing to do anything to get a hot girl in your bed she will realize that and treat you like shit, just because she knows she can get away with it.

  5. Ethan says:

    If a woman hit me hard in the balls by accident but showed no concern laughed about it I’d never see her again. There is such a thing as compassion in this world!

  6. Splinter says:

    If a woman kicked me in the groin for a laugh, I’d be strongly tempted to break her nose. I wouldn’t, but only because of the shit storm that would ensue. They have us guys ‘by the balls’ – pun intended.

    Other than that, this…

    “I wasn’t throwing to the batter. I was throwing to the catcher’s glove.”

    … is an excellent punchline. Good article.

  7. David says:

    That whole paragraph in question is pretty pointless. I’m guessing it was designed to show ‘anxious guys’ they needn’t be worried about escalation, as there is nothing to worry about. Instead it has the opposite effect.

    All it needed was an RSD style summary to cap it off of ‘look guys, see how unreactive I was.’

    Who knows, we weren’t there. Maybe he was trying some messed up fake ‘escalation ladder’ and she needed to assert herself.

    • Splinter says:

      True. Maybe she was afraid to assert her boundaries, reacted, and tried to smooth things over by keeping it humorous. Having fun, wanting to keep things going, but also a little nervous…? I can see that.

    • Zen says:

      I can see that. Nervous laughter because she’s not sure what to do. I can understand where she might be coming from.

      Still I would expect a girl to show some concern if I was doubled over in pain. If she did not that would be a sign to me that this girl is not terrible concerned about me or my feelings happiness etc…

  8. Alex says:

    Zen, you complain a lot. Have some fun and don’t take things too seriously. I’ve been reading your comments and I was like you man, too logical. Forget about it. Go have fun. And if a girl kicks you in the nuts, laugh about it. You’re a man. She doesn’t have to give you flowers or kneel in front of you to ask you for your forgiveness. That’s all. Good luck.

    • Zen says:

      Alex, if no one ever complains, nothing ever changes. There are problems in American culture that need to change. Maybe I WANT to get flowers every now and then, maybe I WANT to get an apology when I get kicked in the balls. If society has gotten used to injustice, so what? That doesn’t make it OK. People told Susan B Anthony to quit complaining and lighten up, too, imagine what things would be like now if she’d listened to them.

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