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Handle curveballs like a major-leaguer

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When life throws you a curveball, how do you deal with it?

Doug Glanville, who played nine years in the major leagues for the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers, says that handling life’s curveballs isn’t much different than handling the ones pitched during a game.

Whether it’s a curveball in life or in baseball, he says, the danger is in the shock when it arrives and it “derails us from our tried and true plan to go from A to B.”

When a knee-buckling curveball comes your way, you forget any and every skill that has gotten you where you are. Managing this mental aspect of the game is paramount.

The upshot: Don’t feel compelled to chase blindly after every curveball. Instead, master your strike zone.

“I finally figured out that most of the time it was better when I didn’t swing at it,” Glanville says. “Because, as in life, the curveball is often just a test—most times thrown to see if you will chase something out of your zone—and not the final pitch that’ll get you out,” he says.

—Adapted from “Hitting Curves (of All Sorts),” Doug Glanville, The New York Times.

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