Have you ever wondered what the catcher and pitcher discuss during a time-out in a professional baseball game? From time to time you will see the catcher go to the pitching mound, have a brief discussion, go back to home plate, and then the game resumes. What are they doing?

The catcher is not presumptuously giving the pitcher advice or telling the pitcher how to do his job. Runners are on first and second bases. Rather, the catcher is generally reminding the pitcher of the basic elements of the pitch and providing the pitcher with encouragement and positive support.

Imagine this scene – Walter Johnson or Nolan Ryan take the mound to pitch to Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth. At what point might the pitcher – skilled and proven as he may be – momentarily question his ability to strike out such storied hitters? The pitcher might quietly say, “Do I really have what it takes?” Or, when the pitcher makes a mistake, does he really have the confidence to play through the rest of the game? The pitcher might say, “Boy, I’m just no good. I should throw in the towel.”

If that was you on the mound, how would you get these nagging thoughts out of your mind? Then, up runs the catcher and says, “Com’ on, Walt. Com’ on, Nolan. You got this. Shake it off. You have what it takes. Plant your feet, finger the ball, wind up the pitch, and release. You’re doing fine.”

And then, the pitcher effortlessly strikes out the next three hitters to end the inning.

This is the job of the financial planner. When you hit an obstacle greater than your resources, or you find yourself reeling from the consequences of a life mistake, or you have questions about navigating our complex world, nothing can help more than a time-out with a catcher – a coach of sorts who can focus your efforts, lift your spirts and help you shake off the dust of life’s flub-ups.

It’s your job to get the ball down the field. No one said you had to do it alone. A coach is just a phone call or click away.


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply

    Climbing the Money Tree


    R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and founder of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc., a non-profit organization providing financial planning services to low-income households and households experiencing financial strain.

    View my profile on LinkedIn