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Thread: DD's confidence is at an all time low

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    Banned obbay's Avatar
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    Default DD's confidence is at an all time low

    ...and she is starting in the circle tomorrow in one of the most important games of the season. (just got the word this am)

    she's a freshman, playing V, batting 2 in the order. she started the season out strong but has been in a slump and hasn't been pitching as much on her own and is now losing speed and control. the bad part is she's becoming unravelled mentally and making everything worse by beating up on herself. thinking too much and the thinking is running out of control, like panic. (not panic attack kind of panic, unable to settle yourself kind of panic)

    Fielding is fine but hitting and pitching are at the lowest point all season with no sign of improvement in sight.

    Any recommendations on how to help her to help herself?

    thanks!

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    Softball Junkie RetiredCoach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obbay View Post
    ...and she is starting in the circle tomorrow in one of the most important games of the season. (just got the word this am)

    she's a freshman, playing V, batting 2 in the order. she started the season out strong but has been in a slump and hasn't been pitching as much on her own and is now losing speed and control. the bad part is she's becoming unravelled mentally and making everything worse by beating up on herself. thinking too much and the thinking is running out of control, like panic. (not panic attack kind of panic, unable to settle yourself kind of panic)

    Fielding is fine but hitting and pitching are at the lowest point all season with no sign of improvement in sight.

    Any recommendations on how to help her to help herself?

    thanks!

    I haven't found anything magical that helps with this problem. However, the more times that she faces her fear and goes out to the circle and does the best that she can with what she has working for herself that day, the stronger and more confident she'll be. Let it happen. It's a process.

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    Certified softball maniac knightsb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obbay View Post
    ...and she is starting in the circle tomorrow in one of the most important games of the season. (just got the word this am)
    Important within what context?
    Important to the 25-40 parents, students, and other onlookers?
    Important to the coaches?
    Important because lives depend on it?

    I guess Sluggers is rubbing off on me.

    How important is it to you, and how does that translate to pressure on your DD?

    I've found, the more I (dad), play the importance of these "games" down, the less pressure DD feels. I used to be the root cause of 90% of her pressure. What would dad think if I walked a batter, what would dad think if I gave up a home run, what would dad think if I struck out, what would dad think if I committed an error, what would dad think if we lost "one of the most important games of the season"?

    DD's team won conference and districts this year the first time in school history. They lost in sectionals. Would you consider the first round of sectionals an "important game"? Months later, nobody gives that a second thought. Life goes on.

    Last year, I watched Oklahoma's pitcher Paige Parker (Then a HS senior), compete against DFPs PDiddys DD's High School team for the chance to go to the State Final Four. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 0-0, lead batter gets on via an infield error, she steals 2nd, fielder's choice and runner advances to third. Parker throws a riseball that gets away from her, wild pitch, the runner on third scores. Game over. PDiddys DDs team goes on to win it all, and.... well Paige Parker is now the starting pitcher for Oklahoma as a freshman and is competing in the WCWS.

    IMO, the pressure she feels starts with you. You have to give her a soft place to land when she fails, and words of encouragement to get back up and fight another day. Everyone fails. Let her know that champions are the ones who dare to fail.

    Let her know how proud you are of her giving her best, competing, and daring to fail when others just quit.
    "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball Doug Romrell's Avatar
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    Absolutely no criticizing her in any way shape or form during her rough patch.

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    I think that knightsb has completed nailed it here. Many times I have tried to gently say it here, without saying it, but here goes:

    It is almost, invariably, the fault of the parent(s) that a girl does not handle the "pressure". Where does this pressure come from? Usually the parent. As a coach, it has been my keen observation that if a girl freaks out during a game her parent(s) are freaking out as well. If the parent(s) are calm and relaxed the kids usually is as well. So note to the parent(s): Take a chill pill! And your DD will as well.

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    KnightSB...maybe you're rubbing off on me.

    You have to give her a soft place to land when she fails, and words of encouragement to get back up and fight another day. Everyone fails. Let her know that champions are the ones who dare to fail.
    I wish I would have wrote this...

    Any recommendations on how to help her to help herself?


    Simple stuff first: Make sure her vision is OK. It sounds simple, but it could well be she needs contacts. At her age, I wouldn't be surprised if she is having vision problems. If everything is OK, then help her.

    Why is she slumping? Is she hitting the ball hard but people are catching them? Is it poor pitch selection? Is her swing screwed up?

    If she is hitting the ball hard but right at fielders, then you joke with her. "Them are the breaks." There is nothing she can do.

    If she has poor pitch selection, challenge her to get deeper in the count. Tell her to work the count a little.

    If her swing is messed up, go back to basics. If you really want to help her, do front toss with her--for an hour or two.
    Ray

    Every softball parent has a chef's knife and a hockey mask in the trunk of the car.

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    I can talk softball all day AndyS's Avatar
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    Knights, nailed it. Great post.

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    Thanks everyone -great advice! We saw her hitting coach over the weekend and she was able to get in that head and show her the boogie man does not exist. The game was important for the team- if they won, they would at least be tied with the other team for league champions. She did t wAnt to let them down. We worked on pitching on Sunday and she did great.in the end she was 1-3 with a sac bunt and a 3B. She pitched all 7 innings giving up 3 unearned runs in a 4-2 loss that she felt GREAT about. Facing 3 or. 4 of the best hitters in the league and not giving up anything more than a single here and there. Coach was happy, parents were happy, teammates were happy. It was all good! TB coach was there and he. Told me to let her know he was impressed. She said her drop ball was working great, falling off the table. No one hit it.
    Thanks again!

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    "You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty."

    -Bhagavad Gita
    Practice isn't about getting it right. It's about never getting it wrong.

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    Good to hear all ended well.
    There's always one in every crowd.

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