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Attitude

hello everyone i am new to the forums. i have a travel team i put together this year and this is my first travel team. We are mostly 9 year old girls and we have a ten year old pitcher. She is extremely talented. The problem is when she starts to walk a few batters or the defense makes a few errors she blows up and gets a horrible attitude. She won't listen to me or the other coach. I try to calm her down, but it is almost impossible. Our back up pitchers are only 9 and they can only pitch in the lower 30 mph range. I want to ring her neck sometimes. What do I do? Should I bench her? The problem with putting her in the feild is she pretty much gives up on softball all together after she falls apart. I have tried to be positive with her, but she blocks everything I say out. When she strikes out or gets out on the bag she walks back to the dugout. I put my hand out to give her five and she walks past me. It is driving me crazy. I work with her every day at pitching and at practice she is very pleasent. I have spoke with her mother, but i haven't really got nasty about anything yet. Any suggestions?
 
May 9, 2008
98
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Effective Communication

Hi ATF,

You've got a circle Princess on you hands. "She won't listen to me or the other coach. I try to calm her down, but it is almost impossible." You do need to have a further talk with her and her parents in which you calmly explain what is expected of her as a member of "YOUR" team. Usually kids like this are acting out because of something in their home or school environment try and find out the root cause of these problems. You probably should also hold a team meeting and discuss the ground rules for proper team behavior on and off the field. Set standards and enforce them especially for little miss superstar. If you don't get any results talk with her teammates and have them influence her in a positive manner. Peer pressure works. You might want to have everyone write down something positive about each of their teammates and then read the statements in front of the group.

She's got some growing up to do and you've got to help her do it, quickly. Help her to develop the mental skills to maintain her composure. If you've got to bench her to do that, do it. One person like this can ruin your team and your season.

Good Luck,

Pops
 
May 7, 2008
235
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ATF...

Pops has made all great suggestions...

If those suggestions do not rectify the situation, I would sit down with her and her parents together and discuss how detrimental her attitude is (not only to the competitive game but how it affects her teammates). Pops' is right that you are not helping her if you do not help her to see this attitude. She will gain a reputation in travel ball quickly because every spectator, team and coach are watching her. Sometimes the parents do not help but can actually enable the problem. If that is the case you may have additional decisions to make. In our experience, we have watched one player (also pitcher) control the team.

Set strong boundaries (such as "from this point forward") and communicate what is and what is not acceptable on your team. Additionally, set the consequences. I find it has helped when working with young people to have them help me decide what the consequences will be on a certain behavior (often they come up with the more difficult consequences). The more you can get the backing of the parents, the better off you will be.

In several of my posts, I strongly suggest a "written" mission statement, creed, code of conduct, etc. These documents are agreed to by the athlete, coaches, and parents. They provide accountability of everyone's actions, including yours. If they are violated the document can be produced as a foundation for discussion or dismissal.

Best wishes,

Ang
 
well she fell apart again this weekend. i put my daughter in and she pitched the best i have ever seen her pitch. one problem with my daughter is in the joint of her throwing arm at the elbow it keeps popping and it hurts her badly. i took her to a doctor and they said it looked fine. they said she had to stop throwing for about 10 weeks. well that is almost impossible right now. should i take her to another doctor? she wears a throwing sleeve and it has seemed to help, but it is not fail safe. any ideas? sorry to change the subject.
 
May 9, 2008
98
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Problems, Problems, Problems

Hi ATF,

Wow, it sure sounds like you're having your share of tough problems for a team of 9 and 10 year olds.

Rest your daughter. She needs to recover. The doctor is right. Even if it costs you some losses this season. You don't want to injure her further and have her have to stop pitching forever. My daughter had a similar situation with an undiagnosed compression fracture of her spine. Missed most of a basketball season after she tried to tough it out by playing in a game.

I think you need to look into strengthening your other pitchers mental skills. It won't be a quick fix. But it will help you, her, and your team down the road. There are two books I'd advise that you can buy from Amazon.com both are by the author H.A. Dorfman. He's been involved with the mental side of baseball at the major league level. The first is "Coaching the Mental Game" the second is " The Mental ABC's of Pitching".

It's going to be tough and the results might not show up in the short term. This season may be lost. You may have to redefine your team goals. You may have to count your teams success in terms of progress instead of wins and losses. But you're their coach and they need you to find a way for them to succeed.

Best of Luck,

Pops
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
A Pitch and Team Hustle

Hi ATF. Here is chapter 8 of my book. Print this out for her.

Hal


A PITCHER AND TEAM HUSTLE ã 1999


If you are a pitcher, you are the inspirational centerpiece of your team.

You, of all the players, are in control of the ball more than any other member of your team. When you control the ball, you control the game. Your team looks to you, more than anyone else, for their confidence during the game. They feed off of the confidence level you display. When you are fired up, so are they. When you hustle and show it, so will they.

If the pitcher has a defeated look or attitude, the whole team tends to give up. The team's hustle starts gasping to try and stay alive. The other team senses this and it makes them hustle even more. While you have the ball in your hand, all eyes are on you, including your own team. When the other team sees you dragging, they get fired up, their confidence level rises and they get much more aggressive, on the bags and with the bats.

When you are fired up, excited and show your determination, the rest of your team will be just as determined to win as you are. Once in awhile, when you strike someone out, turn to your 2nd baseman, make a fist, pump your arm and just say "YEAH". Do that a few times and watch how fired up your team gets. They will want to win for YOU because they know you are trying your absolute best to win for all of THEM.

A pitcher that is fired up, with a team that is fired up behind that pitcher, is the most intimidating thing the other team will ever face. It takes away their confidence level and when that happens, their level of hustle drops like a rock. The team that hustle's the best is always the team that wins the big trophy.

Stay fired up, always hustle and show it.

The pitcher in the circle is where the team's hustle breathes its breath of life from during the game. Don't let it be the place where the team's hustle dies too.

When a team's hustle dies, the pitcher is the ONLY one that can give it immediate CPR with the very next pitch.

Not even your coach can do that!

Stay fired up, show it, be vocal about it and your team will definitely respond. You have a responsibility to your team to do everything you can to win the game. No other player has more responsibility for their own team's performance than the pitcher.

The pitcher is held more accountable for the final outcome of the game than any other player.

Have you ever wondered why the pitcher is the only individual team player that has a win/loss record for their position?

Maybe now you understand why just a little bit better.

__________________________________________________

Winning Fast Pitch Softball
 
May 7, 2008
235
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ATF...

My dd went for an MRI on her knee a month or so ago. She wasn't complaining of pain, but there is a place near her knee that pertrudes, moves and pops. We took her to an ortho. If it hurt her, we would have ran to the ortho. Turns out to be extra cartlidge that is inconsequential unless there was pain. He said because she is not done growing yet, it may rectify itself. After she is finished growing or if it becomes painful, she can have it removed. One time with my oldest child, I delayed in getting her to the doctor with a rash. It was more serious than it needed to be, but nothing life altering. I put myself on a guilt trip, and my destination landed me in the land of "I will never let that happen again." To me, peace of mind is always worth the money.

Hope she is well soon.

Ang
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
ATF,

You can't seriously be thinking about letting your DD pitch again this season! My GOSH, she's a child who needs her parents to make adult decisions! You can't be willing to risk further/permanent injury to save a 9 year old travel team! This is EXACTLY why a 10U team should carry AT LEAST three pitchers!

Keith
 

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