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The comfort zone

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Ken just posted commentary regarding "the comfort zone".

How does a 12U player experiment out of their comfort zone when the coach screams at them for making a mistake?

In practice they hear "don't play it safe".
In Tournaments if they go for ball or try something with their pitching they get yelled at (missed ball or a walk)

These are 12U kids on a Travel team.

Pitcher #1 gets told what pitch ... it doesn't always work...

Do you really think that kid didn't really try to do what was asked of them..of course she did.
(this is a kid that is black & blue from pitching to over 160 batters in 24 hours)

I'm trying to push my DD to go out of her comfort zone, but watching her coach, I can see why she is afraid to.

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
The short answer is you can't get kids to go out of their comfort zones if the coach is going to yell at them if they fail. This is not a coach who will help your daughter or anyone else on the team develop. He's more interested in his stats and immediate gratification.

You need to find a team (or a coach) that will allow her to push her limits and find out what she can really do.

In the meantime, let me ask what the consequences are for failure (other than yelling)? Do players get pulled out of the game for failing, or for not executing the strategy as well as the coach thinks they should? That usually leads to ultra-conservative play, which leads to failure anyway.

I'll tell you what I told my son when he had a soccer coach who did that. Seemed no matter what my son did it was wrong. If he did what the coach told him to do in a particular situation the last time he was still wrong. I finally told him not to worry about what the coach thinks since he doesn't seem to think much of you anyway. Instead, go out and play your game to the best of your ability. If it's not good enough, then tough. Once he started doing that he started succeeding and the coach left him alone.
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
comfort zone

Usually yelling screaming .. angry.

MY DD was pulled from pitching after three innings ... 7 runs .. two walks, 2 errors, 2 pass balls, 3 balls dropped in front of fielders .... 2 real hits.
They were hitting her, but not over outfield stuff ... 10 feet behind 2nd base, etc ...we weren't hitting at all in that game.
Didn't understand what she had done "wrong".

She's new and she has a lot to learn. Generally a quiet kid (works in her favor pitching as she stays very calm).

I'll have to talk to her about your tactic with your son ...
I'm hoping this all works out ....

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
My father would have told him one time "not to yell and scream at me." The next time it happened, he would have taken me off the field and we would have left.

You start to be afraid of doing anything, for fear the coach will blow up.
Jun 6, 2009
When I was coaching I don't think anyone would ever confuse me with being a warm and fuzzy kind of guy but I don;t remember ever chewing a kid out playing it hard.

I usually had the opposite problem....getting them to let it all out.

My rule was, acts of commission...we got no problems. Acts of omission...we got a problem.

At the gold level, I don't recall ever having a college coach come up to me and say "I got have that kid. She played it safe the whole game" :)

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