Nine Innings: Life Lessons Learned

Nine Innings: Life Lessons Learned

by Lenny Silva


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Nine Innings: Life Lessons Learned by Lenny Silva

Nine Innings: Life Lessons Learned, written for young student athletes and their parents, contains nine chapters, each referenced to coincide with nine innings of a baseball game. This guide provides practical advice from a father, baseball coach, and financial advisor to help you and your child become mentally tougher, relying on confidence, courage, competitiveness, and continued improvement in order to achieve success in school, sports, and life. Learn how to find the inner strength to improve your life with a positive attitude and proper goal-setting techniques, while stepping out of your comfort zone.

In order to achieve all that you want, it's important to understand that the behavioral changes that you make today will improve who you are tomorrow. This is best accomplished by focusing your energy on the present.

Nine Innings: Life Lessons Learned offers practical advice to help young student athletes-and their parents-become more confident, street-smart, mentally strong, positive, focused, and successful.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450239639
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/29/2010
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Lenny Silva is married and the father of two boys. He has a passion for baseball and had a Hall of Fame collegiate career. He is a coach and trusted mentor to young adults in his community. He has twenty-three years' experience as a licensed financial advisor.

Read an Excerpt

Nine Innings

Life Lessons Learned
By Lenny Silva

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Lenny Silva
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-3963-9

Chapter One

First Inning

Street Smart

As athletes playing baseball, we are all taught about the importance of being prepared. I still remember advice my little league coach gave the boys and girls on my team. While playing defense, it is important to know what you're going to do with the baseball prior to it being hit your way. I used that advice throughout my entire baseball career, including college. It is simple advice and an important action principle when playing defense.

The coach would explain that prior to our pitcher delivering the pitch, understand the game situation and run your options through your mind. This game moves so quickly and you really don't have time to think. We only have time to react and make a play. Having a high baseball IQ and using your instincts separates the good from the great players of the game.

As a shortstop-playing defense, we have so many options when making a play to get an out. It is very important to always be thinking and prepared to make a play before the ball is hit our way. I would run all the options through my mind prior to the pitch being thrown. If the opponent had runners on first and second base with nobody out, here are some options a player at shortstop could be thinking about:

1. If the ball is hit to my right in the hole near third base, I could throw it to the third baseman for a force play, or I could pivot and throw to second base for a possible double play. I would say to my third baseman "If the ball goes here, be ready because I may be coming to you for the force out." Communicating with teammates was crucial. 2. If it was a slow bounding ball hit right to me, then I would charge it, catching the ground ball off the infield grass, throwing it to first base, getting one out. 3. If the ball is hit to my left, then I could catch the ball, tag second base, and throw it to first for a double play.

These three types of scenarios would run through my mind prior to the pitcher delivering the pitch. You must always be prepared and understand what you are going to do with the baseball prior to it being hit your way so you increase the chance that you will make the right choice and play for your team. Become a highly intelligent athlete and this action principle of being prepared can be applied to any sport you love to play as it can help both boys and girls become more successful in athletics.

In life it is so important to always be prepared. If we take what you learned from the game of baseball and applied that same technique to your life then maybe you could avoid a dangerous situation or get to safety if you are ever thrust into one.

Life Lesson: Try to be prepared and always expect the unexpected.

In life, I call this being street smart. A street smart person is somebody who is prepared has some basic knowledge and a cool head when faced with danger. A person who thinks ahead and has good instincts remaining calm may have an increased chance to survive a dangerous situation that may come up unexpectedly.

Being street smart is a catch phrase to help the child become more mentally tough and focused. It allows you to take action when your natural survival instincts are sending you warning bells. We all need to be aware of our surroundings and thinking about options if we are ever faced with danger. We can react more quickly than people who are not prepared. All of us have survival instincts and we sometimes refer to them as gut feelings. This is a warning signal to your brain that something does not feel right and you don't want to ignore it.

If you do experience this type of feeling, then understand that you about to enter into a dangerous situation and it is important to remain calm and begin to look around for options and ways to flee the area to safety.

As a parent, we try to educate our children and prepare them to avoid talking to strangers and anyone who may have bad intentions towards them. If your child feels uncomfortable or threatened, then they need to take action. We try to protect our children from danger but we cannot always be there with them. It comes down to the child to make the right choices.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy to have your child just be aware of strangers. In the majority of violent cases against children, they involve someone the parent or child may know and trust. We need to educate our children of all ages about being safe and their right to protect themselves from harm.

What is a child to do? What is a parent to do? As a parent, we want to teach and protect them from uncomfortable situations and anyone who may pose a threat to their safety. This includes strangers and people whom they may know and trust. We must make the child aware that their safety comes first. Once the situation is detected as dangerous, you must take action to get yourself to safety and be vigilant in your efforts to do so. Being prepared, keeping a cool head and using basic knowledge are all traits to help you get to safety while dealing with the pressure of any traumatic event that may be occurring.

I teach my boys that out in the world, safety is much more important than having good manners. We all want our kids to have good manners and be polite by saying please and thank you. In the event of an unexpected danger, they must seek help and get away.

If any child feels uncomfortable and threatened in any way, then make them aware that is okay to be rude. They don't need to be polite to strangers. They need to understand that their safety comes first, so get away as quickly as possible and find help.

Life Lesson: Street Smart people recognize danger and become vigilant when fleeing to safety. It is not the time to be polite; strangers have not earned your trust and respect.

We need to help the child first understand and recognize clues that they maybe entering into a dangerous situation. Any person that the child does not know is considered to be a stranger. Being street smart means that I will avoid strangers at all cost. If approached by a stranger and you feel uncomfortable in any way, then simply run to safety as quickly as possible. Taking action is your choice and now is the time to get away immediately.

A street smart person understands the importance of not engaging in a conversation with a stranger or any person who makes them feel uncomfortable. The bad person is trying to trick you into a harmful situation. As a child, if you answer any questions posed by these people, you maybe falling right into the trap.

These people who pose harm to our children are playing a game as they try to learn more about you. When the child does engage in a conversation, they begin to share personal information without realizing how damaging it can be. A child may tell these people that their parents are at work and they are home alone for a couple of hours after school. The child may say he or she is an only child and the parents are divorced. This information is exactly what a bad person is looking for so that they can take advantage of and possibly harm a child.

These people who mean harm to our children are clever and may offer you a gift or say your parents asked them to pick you up. Be street smart and don't listen or engage in the conversation and run as fast as you can away from this encounter. It is important for our children to understand that their body language is also a form of communication.

If a child is walking around alone with his head down and shoulders slumped over, it is a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem. This is the ideal victim for the bad guy because they want to dominate and take advantage of you.

I teach my boys to walk around with their heads up, chest out, shoulders back and make eye contact with everyone like they own the world. This is someone who is street smart and their body language represents confidence and strength. The bad people out there do not want to deal with this type of child because they will be more difficult to manipulate and take advantage of.

Street Smart children should always check with a parent or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone. Children should try to stay in groups when they are going outside or traveling someplace like a shopping mall. Safety in numbers is a good way to prevent bad people from even attempting to approach our kids.

Children also need to understand that their body belongs to them and they have a right to say no if anybody tries to touch them or treat them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. A street smart kid will tell his parents or trusted adult right away if he or she has ever encountered such a terrible ordeal.

Life Lesson: Trust your instincts and watch for clues that you may be in danger. Once detected then don't hesitate become vigilant as you flee to safety.

Open communication between parent and child is important to help resolve situations that may occur with your child. The child needs to understand that they can come to you with anything, whether it is a simple problem or something out of the ordinary.

Today, with all the new technology, including the Internet, chat rooms, Myspace, Face Book, cell phone, texting, twitter, etc., it is crucial that children and adults refrain from giving out personal information. Online predators pretend to be your age in chat rooms. They are trying to trick you and tempt you into meeting with them. My two children are not allowed to visit chat rooms because it is too dangerous and we monitor their face book page. Kids today are sexting, which is dangerous and illegal.

Sexting is when a person will transmit sexually explicit messages or videos via a cell phone. Sexting cases are not only dangerous for children because they are engaging in a dangerous behavior but it is illegal. This is a federal offense with both the sender and receiver of this type of communication being charged with child pornography. These sexual images may also be sent to several friends and before you know it the whole town has a copy and if you thought gossip was hurtful. We all need to be street smart here and educate our kids not to engage in this "sexting" type of behavior. Parents need to check your kid's profiles that they may have created with any of these new networking sites and be aware that your child may have set up two profiles one for their friends and the other usually more innocent for the family.

I have been educating my two sons not to engage in another new and terrible trend, which is called "Cyber Bullying". This is a practice when teens will taunt and make fun of each other with instant messages, e-mails, texting, and face-book postings. Some kids will group together and pick on or bully another child. The horrible things that kids will say to each other is frustrating to parents and if your child is a victim of this they need to know that you are here to support and love them. I ask my two sons to be street smart and not to pay attention or engage in any of this bad behavior. Some kids cannot handle this bullying and are committing suicide at a very young age. We all need to be vigilant to prevent and stop "Cyber Bullying" and keeping all the children safe.

Adults are now having problems with identity theft. They also need to become more street smart and avoid disclosing personal information such as names, date of birth and social security numbers over the telephone and on the Internet. Bad people are running scams claiming to be employees at your bank or government officials updating their records and ask you for all your personal information. A street smart person would recognize this as a threat and hang up the phone.

As an employee of a bank, I can tell you firsthand that we never call customers asking for personal information. If you are a customer, then we already have your information. Each company you may deal with all have the same privacy and confidentiality policies. They will not call you asking for this information. It is a trap to get your personal information, so you must be rude and just hang up the telephone.

As adults, remember it is okay for you to be rude when dealing with these people on the telephone. We can be polite and keep our manners ready for people whom we meet face to face and trust. We are all too nice and that opens the door for bad people to take advantage of us. This is most prevalent in the elderly population and children.

Adults and children should not engage in conversations with these scam artists over the telephone because they will trick you by trying to get your personal information and you are at risk for bodily harm or identity theft.

Women who may live alone, the elderly and children of all ages are all at risk if they disclose too much information to people they first meet on the Internet or other new communication devices available. Remember the words street smart and begin to condition your mind by making it stronger as you become more focused. Hang up the telephone when asked for your personal information.

There are so many bad people out there lurking in Internet chat rooms who are targeting both children and adults. The new technology is great, but also has a downside because so many bad people out there use it to gain financial success and commit acts of violence against others. We trust the wrong people and in the end we get hurt. Our children must learn to recognize these potentially dangerous situations and simply avoid them all together.

Life Lesson: Don't disclose any personal information over the phone or Internet.

There are many people in this world who are brilliant in the classroom and are earning doctorate degrees from the most prestigious colleges. You may come across some of these same people in your classroom. These same people also may lack common sense and are not street smart.

In the game of basketball you are allowed ten seconds to get the ball over half court and if not, you turn the ball over to the other team. I like this ten-second rule and in life began using it to teach my two sons about safety. It became a street smart lesson called the ten-second rule.

Many people get hurt while on vacation and it could easily be avoided if they would only stop and take ten seconds and think before acting. I visited the beautiful islands located through out the Caribbean. Most tourists love to rent mopeds and ride around the islands going sightseeing.

The last time I was visiting such an island, my wife and I decided we would do just that and rent mopeds. I mentioned this to a police officer client of mine. The police officer offered me some free advice. He asked me when was the last time I rode a moped. I said never. He said "If you have never ridden a moped then why would you put your life at risk and rent one here on the island?" I said that was a good point. He also went on to say that most of the tourists who rent mopeds get hurt and some get killed. The local drivers do not yield for these types of vehicles and when an accident occurs the car wins and the moped loses. The police officer was giving me a street smart lesson and he was 100% correct.

Whenever I travel on vacation now, I take ten seconds to think about any activity we decide to try. I consider my experience and safety performing that activity. You may decide that it is not worth the risk of injury and go onto another activity.

We all get a false sense of security while on vacation thinking nothing bad will happen to us. That is the exact point we stop thinking, get caught up with the beautiful surroundings and want to let loose and enjoy the adventure. You can still have fun but be street smart and take ten seconds to think things through. If you are still uncomfortable, then just pass on that activity and find something else to do. We all need to get away and relax, but at the end of the day it is not worth it if you get seriously hurt or killed.

I am not trying to scare you or ruin your vacation. I want you to come home safely and remind you that you are away from home and sometimes in a foreign country. Take ten seconds to think before you act and maybe it will prevent you from getting hurt. Be careful when you venture away from the resort that you maybe staying at.


Excerpted from Nine Innings by Lenny Silva Copyright © 2010 by Lenny Silva. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Street Smart....................1
Dream Car By Len Zen....................19
Jacob Becomes Mentally Tough and Learns About The Four C's....................35
Joshua Stops Procrastinating....................57
Understanding the Importance of Being a Good Student Athlete....................73
Anxiety in Baseball and Life....................87
Health is Wealth....................103
Understanding the Importance of Money and Investing....................121
Control Your Debt and Spending Habits....................135
Sample of a Monthly Budget Form:....................153
Instructions to Balance Your Checkbook:....................155
Goal Setting Workshop:....................159
Building Dynamic Credit:....................161
Financial Investment Guide:....................165
Financial Documents Archive Checklist:....................169
About the Author....................181

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