Just Tell Me I Can’t

Jamie Moyer’s career served as inspiration for many people, and his memoir, Just Tell Me I Can’t, illustrates why this was so. Moyer’s modesty prevented the book from being a true autobiography, and it reads more as a conversation between Moyer and his sport psychology mentor, Harvey Dorfman, on the mental aspects of pitching.

Among many gems from Dorfman, one of my favorites was, “Good learners risk doing things badly in order to find out how to do things well” (p. 125). While seemingly simple, I have seen many people (and certainly been guilty of it myself) stop improving because they were afraid to look foolish once having achieved a certain level of comfort at a particular task. As Dorfman said, it is the truly great learners who do not worry about how others perceive them, and continue putting themselves in uncomfortable situations such that they can learn and grow.

The entire book provides many strategies, tips, and insights into the process of learning and growing and the benefits of hard work and effort. While the stories and anecdotes are all shared in the context of baseball and pitching, they are easily applied to any realm of performance – including the performance of your life.

On the plateau for 7 months and counting…

Of course, my daughter is learning the most complex skill any of us has ever learned: language. And it’s not for lack of trying (lately at 5 in the morning). She’s sticking with it though (as I write this, in fact). At times there is frustration, and even some crying, but no signs of wanting to give up yet. In fact, the frustration and crying seem to make her want to practice more.

There are also no signs that she is blaming herself, cursing herself (I guess that would be progress with her particular task), or comparing herself to others. This seems instructive.