The catcher threw the baseball low and out of frame to me. I caught it with one hand. (I was holding the microphone with the other.) And I quickly pulled the ball up and into frame so viewers could see it.
When I returned to the newsroom, I received a standing ovation for my liveshot. I laughed and bowed and was about to head for home when the executive producer stopped me.
“Noeleen– that was so great! But it was such a big risk. Weren’t you afraid that you’d drop the ball? ”
“No. It never occurred to me that I’d drop it.”
Background: I grew up playing 16″ softball in Chicago. (Yes, the ball is 16”. And we don’t use gloves.) When I was nine, I was robbed of a surefire hit to left when the shortstop leaped into the air and caught my line drive one-handed. For the next month I threw a 16” softball against a wall until I could catch it one-handed with both my right and left hands. So catching a tiny baseball was no big deal.
“But what if you dropped it? What would you have done?”
“Then I would have dealt with it and moved on. For example, the catcher’s throw was really low today and I handled it. No big deal.”
I know I’m a confident person, but I am always amazed at people who are afraid to take risks. Without risk, there is rarely any reward.
Whether it’s public speaking, presentations or media interviews, you need to be willing to put yourself out there.
As I’ve said before, it’s the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win.
Winners take risks.