It's funny how life parallels situations for you if you are paying attention a little bit.
After electing to play baseball this spring, when he was asked to fill in at in an outdoor soccer game for his former indoor soccer teammates, he hesitated at first. He even initially said no when we asked him. It was different than what he was used to and he said he didn't want to let his teammates down. He was afraid of failing - but without trying first. Eventually he decided to give it a go.
I was on solo-kiddo duty, so I took the camera gear to have a little fun myself. After complaining about the difficulties with auto-focus and high-speed (ok, relatively high-speed) action to the guy who was shooting pictures next to me, he suggested I try manually focusing. Like a rag cut from the same cloth as our soccer stud, I balked as well. I can't do that. I don't trust my vision. It's too fast to pan & zoom & focus & snap the photo. It all went through my head.
On second thought, the guy suggesting I try it happens to shoot freelance for ESPN so maybe I should trust his judgement better than my own misguided preconceptions?!?!
What do you know? I loved it. After a couple tips from him on how to manually focus and zoom all with one hand (with your hand under the lens barrel, hold the focus ring between thumb & index finger, hold the zoom ring with pinky and palm), I got a much higher percentage of shots which were in focus than on any auto mode I'd tried before. It is incredibly freeing to not have to worry about getting the autofocus dot(s) lined up on someone while anticipating what they're going to do, etc. I'm so glad I tried it.
Oh, and he was happy he played as well, especially when this shot found the back of the net to complete his first-half hat-trick!