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Changing Attitudes

Nov 12, 2008
2
0
I coach and play A grade (girls). This is my first year back into coaching A grade, having done it 10 years ago. For the past 2 seasons I have been playing A grade with most of these girls. Our biggest problem over the past 2 seasons was our batting having only scored 14 runs in total for the season but had in excess of over 150 runs against.

When I got the position, I started pre-season 10 weeks out having 1 night dedicated to batting in tunnels for 2 hours and one morning of 2 hours fitness. We are now into our 5th week of the season and played 7 matches. Things started off well and within 6 matches we had surpassed our runs for from last season but still had same runs against. :)

The wheels have come off and we have now taken 10 steps back after last nights game.:( There have been 2 games which we should have won but we lost it as the players didn't believe. My biggest problem is changing the attitudes of the players in convincing them to believe that they can win and are allowed to win. I have tried a number of approaches but now I am at a loss with motivational ideas to get them to believe.:confused:

If anyone can assist I would appreciate your feedback
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,752
48
Dallas, Texas
Softball is a game of perfection. The field is small and the pitchers are very, very good. Any mistake is amplified. If you have a few mistakes, the game gets out of hand very, very quickly. With a good pitcher on the mound, if her team gets up by 2 runs, the game is over.

So, your team has to play perfectly. Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Sit down and chart the game for each batter for both teams and determine *EXACTLY* what happened. Why *SPECIFICALLY* did you lose? Then, you have to focus on fixing those problems.

During the game, you have to emotionally detach yourself from winning and losing. You have to look at the execution by the players of specific softball skills. A player who makes a mistake in a 10-0 win should be corrected as if it cost you the game.

Execution is all there is in softball. Nothing else matters.

As to "believing in winning", my experience is that this is one of the phrases lesser coaches toss around. (the others being "want to win, desire and confidence). Rather than focus on what he/she can do to help her team win, they fall back on generalizations that have no meaning.
 
Nov 11, 2008
3
0
Richboro, PA
I agree with sluggers. But I also want to add something.

Being a player myself, whenever my coach finds that my team has lost some confidence or lost a game that should have been an easy win, my coach sits us down and makes us analyze the game. She has each one of us says something that we did really well on and something that we should improve.

Sometimes teams loose games because they forget basic drills that can greatly affect preformance. My coach would spend a couple practice just on the basics, like throwing, ground balls, and do scenario drills.

Other times a team looses just because they're a little worn out (either physically or mentally). Maybe once a season we just take a day a do some team building excersizes so players can get to trust each other a little more deeply and come together as a team.

It's sounds like you have a very nice team going and they have been working hard for the last few months.
I know I'm not a coach, I'm just a player, but I hope my advice helps out a bit
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
Good to hear from a player and good insights there. I do need to point out one thing though; "or lost a game that should have been an easy win".

There should never be an occassion when a coach says that to his/her team.

Don't EVER underestimate the opposition, that will come back and bite you in the booty EVERY TIME. There is always a better team out there waiting for a team that thinks they are all that and a bag a chips too.

You have to go into the game with confidence, confident that you are going to give the other team the worst defeat they have ever had. To give any less an effort is an insult to the sport, the players, coaches, umpires and fans.

If a team is going to step on the field with the intentions of not giving 110%, they should stay home and just not show up for the game, it would be more honorable.
 
Taztori Coach,

Sometimes when the chips are down that is when the finger pointing starts. That is the worst thing that could possibly happen. Players need to realize that everyone is part of the team win or lose. When the team is struggling the most that is when I want each player to "Look in the Mirror."

What I would the next time you meet is to lead by example. I would think of one or two things in my own coaching performance that wasn't that great and I would appologize for it. For example, "Girls I am sorry, the last game was my fault. I wasn't aggresive enough on the bases and we stranded too many runners." "Also the last practice I should have had you work on fielding a little bit more." HOPEFULLY, what will happen is the girls will start looking in the mirror. They might say, "no it was my fault I was 0-3 if I would have gotten a hit we would have won." Before you know it everyone on the team is looking in the mirror instead of pointing fingers.

I really try to stress kids having that type of attitude. If Angie throws a ball to Brittani and it tips off the edge of the glove, I ask them what each one should say. In my opinion Angie should say "My fault it was a bad throw." "Brittany should come back with "no, it hit my glove I should have had it." I wouldn't want them to make up stuff to make someone feel better, but on errors that could have been charged to either player I think it's best to take responsibility. It takes a true winner to look in the mirror. Human nature is to sometimes blame someone else. Break that pattern and you will be a lot more succesful. There are many girls that are the first to blame someone else. They blame the umpire, teammates, coaches and anyone else. I really feel sorry for these players because they will go through life blaming other peope for there mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and the players that realize that will make a lot fewer mistakes.

Thanks
Sean Hall
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
I know what you feel like. I've been in that situation too where the girls just don't believe in themselves as much as they should. We tried the approach of saying it over and over again until hopefully they start believing it. But I learned something recently....people for vehemently defend an idea that they come up with themselves vs one that someone else gave them.

Instead of telling them what attitude to have...is there any way you could illustrate it with words or with stories so that they can see for themselves the effect of attitude and mindset and come to their own conclusion about what their attitude and mindset needs to be?

Also - there is lots of great confidence information at Baseball Confidence.com - aaf.

Tom Hanson who runs that site also just put together a whole new site with free stuff all about coaching the mental game and helping your players achieve success - http://tinyurl.com/5aco5j

Hope this helps.
 
Jun 20, 2008
10
0
Boise, Idaho
The secret weapon

Mike Candrea used to call Jeff Janssen the U of As secret weapon. I started reading his stuff and implementing the ideas, because we were in a similar situation when I took over a program near Tucson...the teams we faced were very good and tryingto turn things around there was tough.

Go to Jeffs website and buy his books. He and Ken Ravizza are the best at mental game (IMO).

here is teh Link:
Janssen Peak Performance

The other thing is this: It take time to turn things around...it often does not happen over the course of one season. Just be sure that you analyze the team mistakes but get your kids to focus on their successes and build on them. Finally in the words of Churchill: Never give up...never never never.

Good luck
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
Wow...thanks

Coach,

thanks for sharing this this is a great website. I have been looking for something like this for a long time!!! I sent it to all of her coaches and her school AD, and principal. What a great site.
 
Nov 12, 2008
2
0
Thank you everyone for your responses. I've got a lot to look at and take on board, all very good.

We've had a couple of games since my posting and still that win eludes us but I am positive.

Cheers
 

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