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Girls are in a losing slump and have a defeatest attitude.

May 24, 2009
45
0
Our team is 12U. Usually the first couple of innings in games our team's fielding is really good and they can keep the other team from scoring. We might score a few runs and the girls are excited because they think they might have a chance of winning the game. They are cheering from the dugout and chattering from the field. But once the other team scores a few runs and takes the lead, our team takes on this defeatest attitude. Everyone stops chearing and chattering, they all look depressed and then start making horrible mistakes. They think, well the other team is ahead, and we are going to lose, so why even try. Over the weekend we played a really good team and the first few innings we kept them from scoring. A couple of our players made some errors on routine plays and then the other girls get mad and then they start making stupid errors. We lost that game (in fact we lose every game) for the same reasons every single time. How do we get out of this mess of an attitude our girls have????
 
May 18, 2009
1,312
38
We have a new coach this year that eliminated cheering. I thought it would take away from the girls. What it's done is even them out.

Last year the girls experienced what your team is going through. They'd come out fired up after cheering but then the high from the cheer would wear off and they couldn't get back up to the same level of play after a few errors or scores by the other team. It was an emotional roller coaster.

We eliminated the cheering this year and celebrate with high fives and congratulatory talk instead of cheer. The girls don't come out to start games with that extra boost from the cheer but they seem to be more focused. Even balanced. They don't get down with mistakes. It's been an entirely different year and the team is more focused on play instead of cheer. They've won a lot more games this year. We didn't win any tournaments the last few years and we've won 3 this year. Maybe 4 after today.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,851
63
Dallas, Texas
A great paradox about sports: Every parent knows the solution to this problem, but no parent wants it done.

What do you do if your kid does something wrong, whether intentional or not? You tell them that they did something wrong. If she doesn't change her behavior to fix the problem, then you "let the child suffer the national consequences of her actions". This is basic child rearing 101. Every good parents has done this a 1,000,000 times.

For some reason when kids started playing sports, parents believe there is some magical new formula for controlling the behavior of children. Perhaps one too many viewings of "Major League" has convinced them that sports exist in a parallel universe where Knute Rockne speeches effect whether a 12 YOA girl catches a pop-up. They look for a coach or a book that has a different paradigm for changing the behavior of children--when every good parent already *KNOWS* how to do it. It is dumbfounding, really.

SO:

When a child makes a mistake playing softball, you tell them what they did, you show them how they are to correct the mistake, and then you let them try again. If they make the same mistake again, you take them out of the game and have them sit the bench and ponder the nature of the universe. Basically, it is a "time out".

Children want to play the game. They really have little concern about winning or losing. (Surely, you've noticed that 5 minutes after the game, they barely remember the score.) But, they do *NOT* want to sit on the bench. If the coach make them suffer the consequences of making mistakes, the mistakes stop.

A coach shouldn't scream at the kid. The coach shouldn't get upset. And, the coach should have a very, very short memory. After a couple of innings, the coach should put the player back into the game.

Do this a few times, and the mistakes end. The score is irrelevant--up by 10, or down by 10. The game is to be played "the way it is supposed to be played," and if the players don't do it, you put them on the bench.

You do this every game, and the level of play will zoom up faster than a rocket on the 4th of July.

You will stay have differences in ability levels between players, so you always have to adjust. What is a mistake for one player isn't for another.
 
Jun 6, 2009
240
0
Our team is 12U. Usually the first couple of innings in games our team's fielding is really good and they can keep the other team from scoring. We might score a few runs and the girls are excited because they think they might have a chance of winning the game. They are cheering from the dugout and chattering from the field. But once the other team scores a few runs and takes the lead, our team takes on this defeatest attitude. Everyone stops chearing and chattering, they all look depressed and then start making horrible mistakes. They think, well the other team is ahead, and we are going to lose, so why even try. Over the weekend we played a really good team and the first few innings we kept them from scoring. A couple of our players made some errors on routine plays and then the other girls get mad and then they start making stupid errors. We lost that game (in fact we lose every game) for the same reasons every single time. How do we get out of this mess of an attitude our girls have????[/QUOTE]




BOP (Butt-on-pine) usually will cure most of the "attitude" problem. If they have been instructed what to do and they have the ability to perform and they aren't, then take them out of the game. Simple. Problem solved.

However, the "we lose every game" statements tends to make me think that attitude alone is not the problem. In most parts of the country, this time of the year is post-season. If you are losing every game, then you have more problems than cheering and attitude. The talent level of the team is not up to the competition.

So, in short you need better talent/coaching to compete.

Maybe the kids react the way they do because they know they are overmatched. Its hard to stay up when you know your going to get your head handed to you.

90+ % of the time the better team is going to win.
 

FJRGerry

Abby's Dad
Jan 23, 2009
202
0
Collegeville, PA
Elizabeth I sympathize with you!

My daughter is playing her first year of travel ball at the 12U level and is on a first year "learning" travel team. The expectations were never high, but we’ve lost more games than I care to remember where if we stayed focused the entire game we should have won.

We have a combination of "little softball experience but good athleticism”, “reasonable physical talent but mentally unfocused” and a small core of “good talent and good attitude”. Mixing these three can be frustrating, to say the least. The girls who play hard, but are still on the skills learning curve lack consistency in fielding and batting, the girls one would expect to do well get themselves down or don’t really care (it seems) and the girls who have talent and passion are frustrated with the win/loss ratio.

My daughter falls in the third category and we’ve discussed that this is still a good learning experience as long as she’s doing her best and improving her skills.

We just finished a rec & 1st year TT tournament with 2 wins and 2 losses, which is actually our best weekend so far, but when you think about it isn’t that good. Considering that we’ve been practicing 3 times a week in the fall and spring, as well as twice a week during the winter, and that we’ve played 30 – 40 games and scrimmages you would expect a tight group of girls, yet errors and poor batting killed us again – this time against LL teams!

As one of the coaches I understand you work with what you have and make the best of it. While it’s true our girls (with the right attitudes – and I’ll take good attitude with less skill any day over the opposite) are improving it would be nice to see some more wins.

Looking forward to next year though…
 
Jan 6, 2009
165
0
Texas
FJRG, I remember our early travel team did that same thing, we practiced a lot, worked on fielding too much, hitting not enough, and I remember wishing that we would at least win a pool game. Then one weekend, it all clicked, just did, and we got to the championship though via the losers bracket. We took home a trophy, not the championship, but jeez, we were playing on Sunday evening. It will come.
 

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