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Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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A World Series Example: Be Explicit

Uploaded: Oct 23, 2013
Game one, second inning; St. Louis's Wainwright pitching, high pop up. Looks like he signals that he'll catch it. Catcher Molina comes running up, but defers to Wainwright's "signal." They are standing a few feet apart. Either one could easily catch it.

The ball falls to the ground between them. Thud.

Runner goes to first.

Couples need to be explicit. Even when it seems like the signals have been given.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Oct 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm

You have made your point, however the pop fly was much more difficult for Yadier Molina to catch as he was running from home plate -- *AWAY* from the ball.

Standard baseball practice is for the guy running *IN* toward the ball to call it. For outfielders, it is the center fielder who is supposed to call the play. Moreover, Wainwright lifted up his arms, gesturing that he had the ball.

So of the three main criteria (going into the catch, arm motion, verbally calling play), Wainwright had two of three. His fault is that he did not verbally warn the other infielders that he was not intending to make the catch.

It's worth pointing out that pitchers routinely catch fly balls as part of the pre-game warmup session/batting practice. It's not like they don't know how to catch balls, and so often a pitcher will make a spectacular play grabbing a line drive.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Jay, thanks for writing in. I can see you know a lot more about baseball than I do :-) I can hear your enthusiasm about the game. I appreciate you noting my point about being explicit, too.

If I may, I am going to use your comment to illustrate how partners can take any opportunity to connect. I realize people get excited about sports, and that I am taking this out of a normal sports comment context to make a point about couples communication and connection.

You definitely heard my point about being explicit and reflected it back to me. I liked that; I felt heard.

If I were your partner, I would have loved if you added a moment of empathy and connection before sharing your knowledge of baseball (which was also interesting to me). Something along the lines of, "Wow, no kidding, thud. I really thought the pitcher would of grabbed that one, especially in such an important game. He's going to think about that one later tonight." Then, when you explained the details you shared, we would have been more engaged and talking back and forth with one another (i.e., connected), rather than you setting me straight on what's normal in baseball.

Does this make sense? Without tone of voice and eye contact so much can be missed . . .


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Oct 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

@Chandrama:

Hi there,

Baseball\'s nuances are myriad. I did not follow the game growing up as a kid, I picked it up on my own as an adult and I still have very little wisdom despite having paid attention to the sport for over a dozen years now.

With that said, I\'m not sure if professional sports are a good launch point for relationship counseling.

Remember that these are well-paid, mostly young athletes of top-notch skill, *participating in a competition*. They do things with their bodies that most of us can\'t even comprehend, and they do what they do to make someone else look bad.

That\'s not what happens in a relationship. You are on the same team, working together on a common goal. There\'s no real opponent other than yourselves. As a couple, you are not together to defeat other couples (except when you\'re playing doubles tennis or two-person beach volleyball).

Baseball is a great metaphor for many examples of the human existence, but not all, and certainly not for couple relationships. After all, there are nine players on the field, 25 on the regular season roster.

Let\'s acknowledge that some of the most spectacular sports plays happen in instances with zero eye contact and no verbal communication. The most noteworthy play is the no-look pass in the basketball. The fact that there is no communication *IS* the advantage; the opponent has nothing to cue off of. Person A throws the ball to Person B and hopes the latter will be in a place Person A predicted and that Person B is expecting to see a ball. It\'s not planned, but it\'s expected by two people who are in the present moment.

Anyhow, the Cards won tonight, and I am grateful for that.

Not using tonight as a relationship lesson, just enjoying the game. :-)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:11 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thanks for this great quote from above that I'll highlight, Jay . . . "what happens in a relationship. You are on the same team, working together on a common goal. There's no real opponent other than yourselves." . . . It is, in fact, up to us, to work on our relationships, and to face our inner opponents when they rise up. Anyone else want to add a comment on this?



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