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Thread: The difference

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    I can talk softball all day gamommax3's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The difference

    The mental game is the difference between a good team and a GREAT team. Believing they are the best on the field, believing in their abilities each and every time they hit the dirt. I have seen great players succumb to anxiety and crumble, and I have seen players that are maybe not as technically sound really excel because they BELIEVED they could. We are working on this mental approach now. It is especially important this year as we just moved up to 14u. Any ideas to help a team really turn the corner with their mental game? They are very good, need a little more to be truly GREAT.
    Coach's wife and #7's mom

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    Following! We have loads of potential on our team but the mental game is killing us. Someone makes a mistake, then they all just fall down a big hill. It's hard to get them to rally.
    Softball Mom

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    I'm a fan Coach Foster's Avatar
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    I recommend a few books, a couple Podcasts, and a blog.

    1. Burn Your Goals - Joshua Medcalf & Jamie Gilbert
    2. What Drives Winning - Brett Ledbetter (Check out whatdriveswinning.com for tons of video info, and the what drives winning YouTube page)
    3. Chop Wood/Carry Water - Joshua Medcalf

    Podcast

    1. The Mindside
    2. Finding Mastery

    Blog
    James Clear

    I love learning about and teaching the mental side of sport (sports psychology/high performance character). I came to the conclusion that if everyone talks about how important it is and it's what truly separates, why am I not coaching it. I'm by no means an expert, but it's something the past 3-4 years I've really began to look into. You're absolutely right, it's what separates the good from the great. Check out stuff on the mindset of Kobe Bryant, really good stuff (there's an interview with him a Jamele Hill from early in his career that is fantastic). Concepts like surrendering outcomes, process based goals, growth mindset.

    Brian Cain is another good sports psychology guy. There's a great video of him working a Florida State softball camp. Ken Ravizza wrote Heads Up Baseball, a great resource.
    Last edited by Coach Foster; 11-14-2017 at 01:58 PM.

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    I can talk softball all day Rooster's Dad's Avatar
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    Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence
    by Gary Mack,

    The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive Paperback – May 12, 2015
    by Jim Afremow PhD

    Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
    by Brad Stulberg

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    Softball Junkie BT3100's Avatar
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    Tons of motivational books and "systems".
    Start off simple.

    * Have your DD write down her goals for the year (3) and the night before a weekend where she will play have her write (3) goals for that weekend.
    As simple as it sounds writing down goals is a significant step in achieving goals and keeps the girls focused. They must write them down (yes with a pen or pencil).

    A good first book to read is The Secret. It teaches some of the most important lessons.. including the most important lesson of all. Be happy when your teammate is successful. Your success is not measured against her success. You have only one person to compete with, yourself.
    "The charm of softball is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope

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    I'm a fan Coach Foster's Avatar
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    Thought this was pretty good and relevant to this discussion.

    https://jamesclear.com/mental-toughness

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    I can talk softball all day cvsoftball's Avatar
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    either a coach 100% hates to lose or he/she doesn't. either a coach is 100% believer in his players or he/she isn't. either a coach always has the appearance of confidence or he/she doesn't. when a coach 100% knows that the only team that can beat his/her team is themselves and consistently delivers this message to his/her players, only then will they stop worrying about anything else and concentrate on the only important thing - their onfield actions. I don't personally give a ratsass what anyone else thinks except for our team. a team takes on the personality of its coach.
    the map isn't the territory

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    I can talk softball all day KPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvsoftball View Post
    either a coach 100% hates to lose or he/she doesn't. either a coach is 100% believer in his players or he/she isn't. either a coach always has the appearance of confidence or he/she doesn't. when a coach 100% knows that the only team that can beat his/her team is themselves and consistently delivers this message to his/her players, only then will they stop worrying about anything else and concentrate on the only important thing - their onfield actions. I don't personally give a ratsass what anyone else thinks except for our team. a team takes on the personality of its coach.

    Could not agree more! DD played on a team where there were a lot of very talented players. The coach was unable to create a TEAM out of these girls though. He would fall apart during tough games, and lose his cool. Screaming at the girls and refusing to make eye contact. The girls did not have the ability to battle back. This team had a reputation that was not great - unsportsmanlike, mean, dirty, etc. DD did not want to be part of that any longer.

    DD now plays on a team where the coach believes in and pushes each girl. These girls are good players with a couple great ones sprinkled in - but they are almost unstoppable on the field. The coach knows how to drive the girls and challenges them at every practice and every game to be their best. I don't know what he says in the team meetings, but he certainly models what he expects out of the girls. His body language during practices and games is the same, the expectations are the same and the girls are eager to be their best. Even during tough games there is a strength in the team and a support for each other that DD never had before. Mental toughness most definitely can be modeled by and taught by a good coach.

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    I can talk softball all day Gambler Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvsoftball View Post
    either a coach 100% hates to lose or he/she doesn't. either a coach is 100% believer in his players or he/she isn't. either a coach always has the appearance of confidence or he/she doesn't. when a coach 100% knows that the only team that can beat his/her team is themselves and consistently delivers this message to his/her players, only then will they stop worrying about anything else and concentrate on the only important thing - their onfield actions. I don't personally give a ratsass what anyone else thinks except for our team. a team takes on the personality of its coach.
    Great post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamommax3 View Post
    The mental game is the difference between a good team and a GREAT team. Believing they are the best on the field, believing in their abilities each and every time they hit the dirt. I have seen great players succumb to anxiety and crumble, and I have seen players that are maybe not as technically sound really excel because they BELIEVED they could. We are working on this mental approach now. It is especially important this year as we just moved up to 14u. Any ideas to help a team really turn the corner with their mental game? They are very good, need a little more to be truly GREAT.
    You are absolutely right. When all skills are equal, it is mental training that makes the difference between successful performances and disappointment. Mental training is a tool that is best introduced and developed much like technical and tactical skills. Start at the beginning of the season with skills such as goal setting, cue words, relaxation and self talk, imagery, communication skills. Even simple things such as an activity where the team discusses things that they have control over and things they do not. As you move closer to the season, use those skills to develop mental training strategies such as emotional control, game readiness and Ideal performance state. It is best to have a strategy for implementation that progresses the skills as the main competitions arrive. Refining during the season and then maintaining mental skills through your tapering as the most important competitions arrive. One thing you can be sure of is that once mental skills are learned, they can not be unlearned.
    Seriously have fun.....
    https://www.softballtutor.com

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