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A Softball dad's confession (My personnal experiance)
My daughter was always the big hitter in the past and when she got in this slop it was mentally tough for her to overcome and was beating herself up inside about it and I was just adding fuel to the fire.
One of the biggest problems I had with trying to help my daughter overcome some of her confidence issues was getting her to open up to me about what was going on in her head. I found that the only way for her to open up was to ask questions when she and I were just having fun talking or doing something other than anything ball related.
I personally have seen a big change in my daughters’ confidence and happiness when I changed the way I talked to her and commented while we’re practicing and my comments before and after games. I as a dad didn’t really understand that the comments and actions I done was a big issue. Reading up on articles about youth sports psychology helped open my eyes that the way I talked to her and the disapproval body posture I was sending out to her was one of the major issues in how she viewed herself and was killing her confidence and performance.
Before, at times I would make comments to her like “I can’t believe you let a girl as little as player X out hit you today” and after saying that I would tell her I was just joking with her. Now I ask myself how did she perceive my comment did she really think I was joking? We as adults know that in every negative comment someone says to us, about us or about someone else even if they say they’re just joking we know the person saying it believes in their mind that it’s somewhat true. As a parent I didn’t give my 11 year daughter credit to realize that, but I do now!
After reading the articles I went out that evening to work with my daughter and I began the session with talking with her and explaining that what I was doing by saying negative comments and showing discuss in her through my body language was wrong and I apologized to her and told her that I wasn’t going to act like that anymore. She didn’t believe me at first but after a few days practicing in the backyard she seen through my actions that I would follow through with my promise. That’s when I started seeing a big change in her confidence and she wasn’t shutting down anymore when I would explain what she was doing wrong and how we needed to correct it. By me changing the way I approached the situation being positive and resisting saying anything negative or showing disappointment in my body language she is now more relaxed and sees it as having fun with dad. She is also more open to what I’m teaching her and actually wants to practice longer.
By no means I’m I saying that this has cured up all my daughters’ confidence issues but I have seen a great improvement in her performance, confidence level and most of all our relationship with each other. I don’t want my daughter to believe that she is a failure in my eyes ever again. In my heart after looking at what I was doing and comments I was making to her (at the time I was saying them I believed that I was just being daddy and showing her tough love.) was making her feel like she was letting me down by failing to perform in games and at practice.
So dad's think about what you say and how you act in front of your daughters or you my to be facing the same issues as I.
I'm happy to report that last weekend she went 5-7 with 9 RBI's.
Last edited by ahiggins1804; 05-15-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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I can talk softball all day
And I hope it will not stop with softball. Congratulations on your new dd!
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I always have "The Talk" with the parents of a my students once they get to the point the kids are pitching in games. The gist of the talk usually consists of telling them to be calm on the sidelines. I tell them yell and cheer the team on as loud as they cheer for their own daughter. I also tell them their kids can see them running up and down the fence line looking all nervous. Then I give them some distractions to help themselves, not the kids.
I have a student with a very involved mom so I included the player when I talked to the mom. During the conversation I asked the daughter how it made her feel when she saw her mom pacing during tense game situations. She and came right out and told her mom it made her feel nervous. The mom had no idea how it made her daughter feel. From what the daughter tells me mom has been much better on the sidelines since then.
People used to ask me how I could remain so clam during tense situations when my DD was pitching. I would tell them it wasn't me on field. I had no reason to be nervous. I always had every confidence my DD would prevail, and most times she did. She put in the time to be a good pitcher.
The Following User Says Thank You to Sparky Guy For This Useful Post:
Kudos for changing your perspective. I learned a long time ago,
that regardless of DD performance, I told her simply, "I enjoyed watching
you play today" this statement sometimes allowed her the opportunity to self critique
and I am more a listener than anything. We have a great relationship and very
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Coach JV For This Useful Post:
ahiggins1804 (06-11-2012),happytobeme (05-24-2012)
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I struggle with this also. I do not have a very good poker face. When I do fall back into that behavior and catch myself I tell my DD that dads are human too and make mistakes. Lets learn from it and move on.
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Last summer, my husband told my daughter (after a rough outing on the mound) that everyone was counting on her...the team and the parents. as soon as it came out of his mouth.....he knew he shouldnt have said it (it was in the heat of the moment...emotions, etc). I tried to fix it right at that moment....but it was too late. Once she heard those words...it put the world on her shoulders and she literally couldnt throw for almost 3 weeks. we had to go back to her pitching coach for a few lessons to get it back. Int hose 3 weeks, I had never seen her hit so many batters and wild pitches. The words that my husband said got inside her head and almost ruined her.
We both learned from that experience. Our words as parents affects our DD's more then we may know.
I can talk softball all day
I used to do the same. I read a few articles about parents running their mouths and decide to try and keep it shut. Lo and behold, she played better. From that point on, I have kept quiet at games and we talk about the way she played afterwards. I tell her what she did great and she often solicits advice from me to what I saw her do wrong. I learned to never criticize, but to give a good breakdown of what little things I would tweak when she hits the field for the next game. It has worked for us pretty well. She's happier and I am happier to have a better more adult kind of relationship with my kid. It is better than the old criticize and yell routine that I was subject to when I was a kid - the old school coaching method.
Checking out the clubhouse
I really like this thought, thank you for sharing!
Originally Posted by Coach JV
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Certified softball maniac
Awesome post! Last week in the car, I knew I shouldn't say anything.....I even thought "this is a demon in my head" I was fighting with, why do I want to talk about the game so bad? I love this girl more then anything, if I talk about the game, it is going to hurt her. I fought in my head for about 20 miles, then opened my stupid effin mouth.