DD seems to be too anxious this year trying too make to much happen. She is swinging at bad pitches, hurrying throws, basically pressing too hard. She does none of this in practice, lessons, or in previous seasons. Any advice on how to get her to relax and let the game come to her? Thanks.
Generally speaking, these are things that come with experience and confidence. I try to get them to focus on using the correct mechanics, and the results tend to take care of themselves - fielding, throwing, and hitting.
It sounds like she may have entered a place where there IS more pressure, a new travel team, first year of high school, a team with higher expectations or just higher expectations of herself. It will be good to let her press and fail and realize it's not the end of the world and then as Eric F. said find a way to focus on mechanics rather than results.
She is 11 first year playing a new team and a step up in competition.
This is a recipe for performance pressure/anxiety. It's normal, but it's good to address it.
I would start by reminding her that it's still just softball. It's the same game she's always played. Now, the players around her are better, but if she's on the team, that means that she's at that level, too. Remind her to trust her skills, and focus on technique. Technique will become increasingly important as she continues to progress in the game...if you can't do the correct mechanics slowly you'll never be able to do them at full speed. Speed will come from practicing the correct mechanics. Correct mechanics will bring consistency.
Her new catching coach who is a follower of the NECC method is working on cleaning up her blocking mentioned that it will take around 2,000 pitches for everything to come naturally. I think the next games will be key to how she is handling things she has played in her first tournament with the new team and in her first league games with the new team. So all the firsts are out of the way.
So? How are you handling the new level of competition?
Sometimes our kids are a reflection of ourselves. Are you right behind the backstop commenting all game? Are you reacting to swings and misses on bad pitches? If you are right behind her all game, consider moving down the sidelines a bit. Let her figure some things out without the parents always in view.
Not bad advice I have always set behind the plate and try to keep my mouth shut, a lot better at that this year. I always try to stay positive, always ask her what she thought and usually don't make comment or suggestion until a day or two later.