"Shake it off, ##@% it!"

Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Jun 27, 2011
North Carolina
So games should be silent for the most part, just coaches giving direction and umpires making calls? Players know when they do something good and when they make a mistake, I guess we should all zip it in all circumstance?

I think 'good job!' and 'nice play!' and 'woo-hoo!' are good for the game. I think most of the noise that comes from the stands is positive and makes the game more fun. So no, I wouldn't go that far.

I was talking about one particular instruction that I think isn't helpful, and I explained why. And as a generalization, I think that players get too much instructional commentary from the bleachers (and probably the dugout as well) and often would do better to figure out how to think and feel for themselves. Pitchers in particular.
Jun 20, 2012
And as a generalization, I think that players get too much instructional commentary from the bleachers (and probably the dugout as well)
During a recent game, our LF drops an easy fly ball. From inside the dugout, one of our ACs screams out to her, "C'mon, you should've caught that!" Both HC and I look at him and say, "We think she knows that." I tried all season to convert him from a screamer into someone who offers more constructive criticism, but it didn't work.

and often would do better to figure out how to think and feel for themselves. Pitchers in particular.
Ugh, this one. We had pitchers with decent control, and we wanted them to get better at the strategy part of it as well (playing 12u). So with no-balls, two-strikes on a batter, they knew they had to pitch to the batter's weakness but something that was not hittable, and let's see if they chase. Of course, when they didn't chase, we would hear the "Let's go, Susie, let her hit it, just throw strikes" etc. Our pitchers learned to tune out the stands very quickly if they wanted to remain sane.
Jun 11, 2013
Obviously the kid knows they made a mistake, but you still say something so they know that it will be alright. Not saying anything makes them think they are being blamed for the whole game.
Jun 18, 2012
It is great that Daddies put the time and effort into coaching. It takes a lot of time and effort, and it is a thankless job to have non-combatants like me sitting around and enjoying the show.

RF drops an easy fly ball. The coach screamed, "Shake it off!" but you could tell by the tone of his voice he was really saying, "You idiot!"

I guess the coach could yell, "Hey..... Catching those IS part of your job description."
Nov 29, 2009
I am not a "Shake if off." coach. But I am not a screamer either. I don't say much when a player makes a physical error. The player knows they screwed up. There's absolutely NOTHING to be accomplished by yelling out what everyone on the field knows already. When they come into the dugout I will let them know what they did wrong and give them the fix for it. If they continue to have problems I pull them from the position until we can get the issue fixed at the next practice.

I don't want a player to forget a bad play. What I want them to do is to analyze what they did wrong and file it so when that type of play comes up again they have the correct information to draw from to succeed the next time.

I know what I do is against the "norms" of accepted coaching, but my feelings are "Shake if off" only validates the "I'm gunna fail" mentality that many kids have when they step on the field. I won't validate a players "failure" feelings and I let every player on my team know that right from the start. I tell them if they are going to make a mistake, make a BIG one. That way there's no doubt everyone knows they are giving the team their best effort.

The other thing I do is once the play is over, and a fix is given, it's over. No amount of berating will fix the past mistake.
Last week at DD2's volleyball match I heard several variations of "That's OK (insert girl's name)! Shake it off!" from the stands. Coaches cannot say anything even border-line critical to a player (after meetings with AD and parents) anymore.
My comment to the other adult next to me was"No it is not OK, this is a Varsity game and your child has just given six points in this game alone."


Mar 8, 2012
South Carolina
I am a say nothing coach while they on the field or at bat while they make the mistake. I wait until they enter the dug out, I always stand at the gate giving high fives or single out good plays but never the bad. I have been coaching most these girls for 3 years on this JV team (we let them start in 6th grade) and most of the time when they make a mistake they come to me. Sometimes with an excuse or reason why or what ever. I simply tell them how to correct it or what went wrong, usually simple mechanics or techniques is the culprit. Usually the errors gives us something as a team to work on during next practice. Always try to bring them up and never beat them down but do not sugar coat with fake talk either.

Of course this team makes it easy to coach, they been out played by older girls but never give up and always looking to improve. Hard to say anything wrong when you know they give it all and then some.
Aug 29, 2013
Did you know that experts recommend coaches to give players 5 responses of praise to every 1 remark of criticism? They refer to it as the magic ratio; 5:1.

Think of your players, as you would think of your car. If you fill your cars’ gas tank with gas, you can go anywhere you want. If the tank is empty, you can’t go anywhere. Athletes experience the same process. Fill their emotional tanks with praise, and they feel they can do anything. Deprive them of praise, and their self confidence plummets, and they will feel discouraged.

Coaches aren’t the only ones who have access to an athletes emotional tank. Teammates do as well. Ask your players to think about the kind of things that make them feel valued and confident on the playing field. Allow them to realize what kind of praise really sits with them as athletes. Then ask them to offer these kinds of statements to their teammates. Sometimes praise is appreciated on a higher level if it comes from a peer.

All praise is good, however, if you really want praise to resonate with your athletes it must be; authentic, specific, immediate, and private. A good way to remember this is by giving your athletes ASIP of Confidence.

Authentic – Praise must be sincere, as a coach you must mean what you say. It must be spoken in the most genuine of tones.

Specific- a simple “good job” doesn’t inform the athlete which skill they performed well. Make sure you insert a specific aspect in your praise. For example; “that was great, you keep your hands inside the ball on that last swing.”

Immediate – Praise should be delivered immediately after the action is committed. Giving praise so quickly helps to reinforce specific skills as opposed to whole performances.

Private – Although it may seem like a good idea to boast a players skills in front of their peers, it can actually keep them from putting in their best effort. Some athletes may be teased, or called the coaches pet if they are constantly praised in front of the team. Other players may just simply be too shy to enjoy public praise. Praise is more authentic if done in private, the athletes know it is meant only for them, and there is no other reason for the comment, rather then simply complimenting their talents.

ASIP Give your athletes a ASIP of confidence with praise that is Authentic, Specific, Immediate, and Private.
Last edited by a moderator:

Products discussed on DFP

Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member