There are some basic principles to every task- and to life. It is important to practice the basics repeatedly so that they become second nature. You usually lose something when you ignore them or fail to practice them. That is true in every part of life.

One night this week a young Atlanta Braves pitcher learned the consequences when you fail at the fundamentals. One of the most routine aspects of training for pitchers is called pitcher’s fielding practice (PFP). It can mean the difference between a run or a game.

Pitchers work every day on covering first base during fielding practice. Rookie left-hander Ian Thomas got a painful reminder why.

He was late covering first base on a grounder to the right side of the infield in the seventh inning of a game against the Red Sox. The batter beat him to the base for an infield hit that helped start a two-run rally and led to an 8-6 Boston win. Failure to perform a basic function was costly.

There are a lot of basic principles that we have heard and learned in life. Fundamentals. We know them but sometimes we forget them. Even momentary lapses of memory or failure to do what we know can be problematic.

Here are just a few of the basic life principles that I have been taught.

• If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
• Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
• Look before you leap.
• Keep your eye on the ball.
• Follow through on your swing.
• Do the most undesirable task first.
• Love God. Love neighbor.
• Failure to plan is planning to fail.
• Always look before you cross the street.
• Look for the silver lining in every cloud.
• The urgent is not always the important.
• Eat well and get plenty of exercise.
• There is a danger in always playing it safe.
• If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
• Accept responsibility for your actions.
• Don’t be too quick to criticize and condemn.
• Good things come to those who wait- and sometimes that means working while you wait.
• Don’t skimp on the foundation.
• You are accountable to God for every thought, word, action, and motive.
• Be quick to forgive.
• Privilege and responsibility go hand in hand.
• Self esteem comes from knowing that you are a child of God and loved by God.
• The only real failure is not trying.
• Always be thankful.
• No one person has all the truth.
• To the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.

Although I am not as diligent as I should be at putting them into practice, I understand that I lose when I don’t.

Jamie Jenkins