There's been some good discussion on here lately about allowing our kids to find their own path. In particular, this post resonated with me:
I didn't want to detour that thread so a I started a new one.
DD is 13, and a pitcher. Right now, she has practice two days a week and lessons on a third day. That's about eight hours of softball per week, plus an additional four hours of travel time. It's a lot, but she still enjoys it. Last fall, we got a personalized workout routine for her that she's supposed to be doing three days a week. It slots in nicely between her practice days.
The problem is, she's just not doing it. She understands that it's going to make her better, but on those days when she has no other obligations she just wants to get her homework done and then crawl into bed and watch Netflix. I ask her about it periodically, but I've stopped short of demanding that she do it. I don't want softball to become a chore.
Part of me wants to let her find her way. She's the #1 pitcher on her team now, but I know the other girls are busting their butts to get more circle time. Complacency is not a character trait that I want to encourage, but I also feel like she has to lose ground in order to find her own motivation. I also know that long hours of training will be required if she wants to get to the next level.
So fellow parents: have you had to help your daughter navigate that transition from natural talent to acquired talent? Did you push too hard or not hard enough?
It’s a fine line between encouraging and pushing. My girls currently play 3 sports so year round softball is tough.
I let the girls know whenever they want to practice I will make myself available. I also leave a net set-up on the back patio under the deck with a bucket of balls if they get the urge to pitch or hit.
Most days they have other sports practice, homework, or social obligations they are committed to. The softball practice window is very small in the offseason so you gotta try and do what you can when you can.
I try not to push but I will give them reminders like if you want to be the ace this year you need to put your time in and work hard.
Or if you want to make Varsity as a freshman you better start practicing sooner rather than later.
I just let them know I’m aware of where their loyalties lie and where there focus/energy goes.
The ball is in their court as to when and how much time they want to devote to softball outside of team practices.