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DD doesn't believe in her own skills

May 22, 2019
82
8
A catcher, she is behind the plate two games out of three on Saturdays, and usually every game on Sunday. She bats 1st, sometimes 2nd. She says she knows people tell her she is a solid player, but in her mind she isn't. At times she gets so down on herself, if she makes a few mistakes (even during practice), that she should quit TB and play rec ball. Most of the time she wishes she was playing in more competitive situations, but these down moments drag her so deep.

I don't know what to say or suggest to her. Her batting coach tells her she just needs to get more game time in to boost her self-confidence, but she says to me that advice means nothing to her. Any ideas?
 

4 girl's dad

Finding my way
Apr 5, 2013
1,852
48
In the stands...
Find a sports psychologist to work with her. If she is as good as you say and she doesn’t believe in herself, then it’s deeper than just telling her she is good or even seeing it on the field.
 
Mar 22, 2016
305
43
Southern California
A catcher, she is behind the plate two games out of three on Saturdays, and usually every game on Sunday. She bats 1st, sometimes 2nd. She says she knows people tell her she is a solid player, but in her mind she isn't. At times she gets so down on herself, if she makes a few mistakes (even during practice), that she should quit TB and play rec ball. Most of the time she wishes she was playing in more competitive situations, but these down moments drag her so deep.

I don't know what to say or suggest to her. Her batting coach tells her she just needs to get more game time in to boost her self-confidence, but she says to me that advice means nothing to her. Any ideas?
How old is she?
 
Aug 20, 2017
390
43
A catcher, she is behind the plate two games out of three on Saturdays, and usually every game on Sunday. She bats 1st, sometimes 2nd. She says she knows people tell her she is a solid player, but in her mind she isn't. At times she gets so down on herself, if she makes a few mistakes (even during practice), that she should quit TB and play rec ball. Most of the time she wishes she was playing in more competitive situations, but these down moments drag her so deep.

I don't know what to say or suggest to her. Her batting coach tells her she just needs to get more game time in to boost her self-confidence, but she says to me that advice means nothing to her. Any ideas?
Tell her that all good and precious gifts are from God! The ability to play softball at a high level is a good and precious gift! If that means “nothing to her” than you’ve got bigger problems
 
Mar 26, 2019
70
18
Central Ohio
Find a sports psychologist to work with her. If she is as good as you say and she doesn’t believe in herself, then it’s deeper than just telling her she is good or even seeing it on the field.
I agree with this. I would want to rule out depression as well. If she is a good catcher and she bats at the top of line up and she still thinks she isn't good enough, something else is going on. Every girl makes mistakes. It's what you do after the mistake that counts.
 
May 22, 2019
82
8
Tell her that all good and precious gifts are from God! The ability to play softball at a high level is a good and precious gift! If that means “nothing to her” than you’ve got bigger problems
I would respectfully request you not bring religion into this discussion, and to not stand in judgement of someone whose approach to religion does not met your expectations.
 
Mar 22, 2016
305
43
Southern California
I've never had a teenage daughter (though my 8 y/o makes me question if I'm not already at that stage sometimes). How much of this is normal behavior for a 15 y/o, even if it's a little out of the range of normalcy?

Could meditation or podcasts about self-worth/confidence work? What about Steve Springer's CDs? (it's the process that you can control, not the result). Just some alternate ideas to a sports psychologist.

I struggled with self-confidence as a teen (still do), and I recall having similar thoughts as your daughter. My problem was, I held it all in. No one, not my friends or my parents, knew what I internally struggled with. So at least she's talking to you about it. I eventually just quit, and I regret it.

Part of this is her own internal issues, but another part is an opportunity to show your love and support and address her concerns WITH HER, which is a fantastic opportunity that I'm positive my parents wish they had when I was a teen.

I'd love for you to keep this thread updated with what you decide to try, what works, what doesn't, etc.

Best of luck, UB.
 
Apr 17, 2019
20
3
I dealt with Impostor Syndrome/Self-esteem issues as a kid. I read all the self-help books ( 'Inner game of tennis', etc), none of it helped me. I'm definitely in the self-affirmation backfires camp. What did help me, fwiw, is self-acceptance or self-compassion. Not saying "I'm great!", but giving myself permission to make mistakes. I will actually visualize a mistake as something you drive past on the highway. Thinking "Ok, that happened, but here come some more things to focus on. Car's not stopping!" That and realizing that you only dwell on your own mistakes, and you're the only one. Every other player on that field has made mistakes too. Maybe they're dwelling on them too. But you're the only one in your head, so move on.
However, in the interest of helping a young soul avoid years of struggling with those feelings, I'd echo seeking a psychologist's help. If you find the right one, they can make an impact. I don't know how to tell you to find the right one though. Best of luck.
 
May 24, 2013
10,289
113
So Cal
As a 12U TB coach, I dealt with these types of players a few times. My approach was to tell them something along these lines...

"I'm in charge of deciding where I put players on the field, and the batting order. I put my players at the position and spot in the batting order where whey will best help the team. You can bet that a lousy catcher won't be behind the plate very much, and a mediocre hitter won't be in the #1 or #2 spot in my lineup. You get a majority of time at catcher because you have worked your butt off to become a player I know I can rely on to do a great job in that critical spot. You bat at the top of the lineup for the same reason. I'm not putting you there just because I think you're a great kid, but because I know how good you are on the field. You're going to make mistakes. Even pros making millions of dollars, who have been playing the game for a LOT longer than you, make mistakes. I don't care about mistakes. As long as you're giving your best effort 100% of the time, and working on improving your game - which I know you are - I'm happy. I know you get upset when things don't go right for you. That's okay. That shows me that you have passion about the game. What you can't do is beat yourself up over an error, or misjudgment, and let it get in the way of your continued development into becoming the kind of ball player you want to be. Mistakes are only a problem if someone keeps making the same mistake, and does nothing to fix it. You're not one of those players. I believe in you, I know how good you are now, and I'm excited to see how awesome you're going to be in the future."

This kind of thing tends to carry more weight if it's not coming from a parent.
 

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