Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Steve Cishek has revealed his secret to staying calm at those high-pressure moments on the baseball field — he keeps a Biblical reminder in his back pocket.
Cishek, a 32-year-old right-hander from Falmouth, Mass., has stashed away a laminated Bible verse every game day since 2011. The verse?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
This profound reminder keeps Cishek steady during tense moments.
“There’s so much pressure in this game,” the pitcher told Chicago’s Daily Herald. “More than you can imagine. When you’re out there and the lights are on, your heart’s pumping, I like to slow down and read it. It helps me put everything in perspective.”
Underneath the verse reads a couple of simple pointers to help Cishek get the best out of himself. “Stay smooth” one reads, while the other reminds him to keep an “easy speed.”
On Instagram the pitcher said that having the card on game days affords him a few moments to “slow down for a moment read it and remember who it is I am to honor and who I am thankful to for allowing me to play this game.”
“It is a privilege after all!” he added, before declaring that “God is good.”
Cishek, who proudly calls himself a “Christ follower” on his social media bio’s, noted that a distinct “calmness” comes over him whenever he meditates on the verse in stressful moments.
“I’m really quiet, soft-spoken, but when I’m pitching I’m really intense,” he explained. “Sometimes I can get too far into it where I’m just too amped up, so I’ve got to just slow it down a little bit.”
Cishek pitched in 80 games last season, totaling some 70⅓ innings — he is the Cubs’ most frequently used relief pitcher and known for his consistency. It is no wonder why!