Motivational Monday Tip of the Day
Recently, I had a young softball player demonstrate a number of hitting drills to the rest of the class. With one particular drill, she really struggled. After the demonstration, I had players pick which of the demonstrated hitting drills they wanted to start with. This young ballplayer immediately went to the drill that she struggled with doing. My first thought was that this girl was going to go far in life, as most athletes allow failure to defeat them, and they stay as far away from things they have trouble with.
Coaches are there to help players with not only how to do things, but with the courage to do them. Coaching confidence is a continual coaching responsibility that often has mixed results, but never the less, necessary. The most challenging players to build confidence in are the players who are perfectionists and those that get down on themselves, quickly. Once again, coaching confidence is a continual process that involves patient words and actions.
Coaches, who lose patience quickly and become upset at the drop of the hat, will rarely inspire eventual confidence in players.
Sometimes, it is very apparent which players have confidence and which do not. Often, we think the better players are the ones, who have the confidence, but that is not always the case. A good coaching confidence technique has coaches ask a volunteer to demonstrate a certain baseball drill or skill. Players, who volunteer, generally have self-confidence, less fear of failure and that competitive spirit desired in ballplayers. Additionally, those volunteers are willing to be up to bat in clutch situations; good knowledge to know for baseball coaches.
Along those lines, often no players volunteer or the same players do, so coaches must choose players to demonstrate. A good confidence building technique is to have players with little confidence demonstrate easily done drills and skills, so they prove to themselves they can do it under pressure, which helps build confidence. Additionally, hard to perform things should go to the fearless players. Even if they fail, they do not take it too hard and it may help the less confident players to see that others fail, and that they bounce back from that failure.
Coaching confidence takes thought and time, but develops with all players, when coaches are committed to doing so. Putting players in positions, where success is more likely, leads to that confidence coaching.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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