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Discussion: In appreciation to Bogie van Bogaert

Posted Discussion
July 11, 2021
Bruce M
Men's 55
60 posts
In appreciation to Bogie van Bogaert
It is said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will arise.” Like many boys my age, I played little league. My performance was slightly above average. One day my Dad came to me and said, “Well, son, you just aren’t that good of a hitter.” No batting cages. No practice. Just a judgement from someone who meant a lot to me. That was it…no baseball or softball for the next three decades. I just wasn’t “good enough.”

40 years later I took a vulnerable step to get serious about softball. I found myself at your farm in Wisconsin. An opera singer trying to learn how to swing. I was standing on Truman Stadium, which I had seen for years on YouTube. You told me you were going to, “work my ass off”.

You didn’t spend hours giving me generalizations about a good swing. You didn’t try to impress me with your elite background in softball. You didn’t waste time talking about how famous you are…how many people subscribe to your show. In fact, you didn’t even lift a bat. You just watched me swing. Then, slowly and methodically, you “worked my ass off” for a good two hours.

Drills. Drills. More drills. All of them tailored to improve my personal flaws. After the two hours, I was exhausted.
I will never forget what you said to me that day, “Great hitters are not born. They are made.” I left your farm that day more inspired than ever. Not only did I want to improve, but I had the tools and the inspiration to do so.

No, I am not an elite player. No, I’m not a hall of famer. And no, I don’t hit 75 400-foot home runs per season and “wow” people. That’s ok. What I am is enough. You taught me to always compete…to always improve…to always work hard. Clearly, I am a better hitter today than I have ever been in my life…and that in my fifties. You inspired me not to be better than anyone else, but to be the best athlete that I can be. It’s a journey…not a destination.

In deep appreciation….
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