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When to be a pest

I have 13yr old pitcher with exact same situation. My answer was to do the work outs with her. They are hard and boring when by her self. However she loves the working out when she is busting a gut laughing at me struggling. I’m dying over here and she makes it look easy. you may can only do half of what she can do but try it’s just another way to spend time with your dd yes it’s at your expense but if we are all honest we need to be working out more than they do.
Apr 20, 2018
Taking lessons once a week and doing nothing else the rest of the week isn't going to do much for 99% of the population.
This goes for hitting too. Parents of pitchers, I do not envy you. It is at least twice a week on the bucket for 40 minutes. But I do know a very good 14u pitcher that throws into a bownet on her own.
May 6, 2015
I wish there was a secret formula. Maybe there is, but I don't know it.

My oldest, 16YO, plays 2nd, pretty much refused to take any hitting lessons for the last three years. It's really starting to show. I just started making her go to lessons on Sunday morning and she's enjoying it, I think. It helps that a good friend goes with her now. I think it also helps that she has a goal in mind - hitting it over the fence, something she's come close to doing a few times, but hasn't done. We made a deal before she agreed to play for her current team that she would put in extra work. Whenever I asked her if she wanted to go to a lesson she would say no. I got tired of it and just told her she was going to go to lessons. As I said, I think she actually likes it now. Still, I have yet to see her work outside of lessons or practice.

Last year about this time I made her play for her high school team (she was a freshman) because I wanted her to participate in at least one school activity, which she had not done yet, and because other softball families had spoken up on her behalf about getting her into the school even though we had applied way past the deadline. She had a big fit, said she hated softball didn't want to play...she played and she loved it - from day one.

DD2 is 14. I make her do more. She goes to lessons, has a great time, but still complains about having to do it the next time. Last week she had a hitting lesson with Kaija Gibson, 1st base for Washington followed by a fielding lesson with Kaija, Sis Bates (SS), and Taryn Atlee (2nd) along with two other players from her club. It was fantastic, especially the fielding part. She told me how fun it was. But this week? She's complaining that she's scheduled to do it all again tonight. I predict she'll go and love it.

Honestly, I don't know what I'm doing. It seems like sometimes a push is needed and is even appreciated. Other times I worry that maybe I harmed my oldest DD's love for the game. Other times I think if I had not let her slack on hitting lessons, she'd be much more successful at the plate and enjoy the game more.
sounds a lot like DD complains about it prior, loves it in the moment.
Nov 15, 2019
This is a good question and one I think about a lot too. With both DDs, we had an agreement that we would pay for hitting lessons as long as they did their tee drills twice a week. I would usually remind them, just a hey, don't forget to do your drills today. My 13 year old does them without complaint. My oldest would put them off and then "forget". After weeks of her not following through with her end of the deal, we told her she needed to pay for them herself. She did that for a month and then decided to quit. It was hard for me to see but obviously she wasn't that invested in it. She always talked about how great she wanted to be, and in team practice she gave 110% of herself, but she just didn't have the motivation to work on it on her own. As long as my youngest continues to put her own time in, even if it's with a reminder from me, then I'll continue to pay for them. But I won't hound her about it. If it gets to that point, she needs to have some skin in the game and contribute to them with money she's made from babysitting, birthday, etc...
Apr 28, 2014
I love this thread! It has some of the best advice on this board.
I couldn't agree more with the recommendation for the book "Chop wood carry water" and also "Pound the Stone" Same Author - Joshua Medcalf. Go on Amazon and check out the reviews!

One of the best stories in chop wood carry water is:

There was a world famous Japanese architect who built the finest homes in Japan for over 40 years. His homes were so sought after that people would wait years for his services. He selected the finest materials and built every home to the highest standard possible.

One day he decided to retire and spend his final years with his family. He notified his boss once he completed his most recent project as most of the homes took 6 months or longer.

His boss accepted his resignation but asked him to do one thing. He wanted the architect to build one final home. The architect was frustrated at the request and just wanted to retire but he spoke with his wife and the next day he reluctantly agreed to build the home.

But this home he treated differently; instead of waiting for the finest wood and marble he accepted what was off the shelf. He cut corners and took whatever shortcuts he could to save time and effort. He finished the home in record time. He met with his boss and said "The home is finished will you now let me retire?"

The boss said "Thank you very much, I have something for you" he opened his desk drawer and pulled out a small red box with a bow on it. He handed the architect the box and said please open it. The architect opened the box to find the keys to the home he just build. The boss said "The home is yours as our gift for your many years of service!"

The architect's heart dropped. He thought to himself If I'd only known that I was building my own house I would have done so many things differently! Now I have to live with this home and regret for the rest of my life. He viewed the project as an obligation instead of an opportunity.

Whenever DD gives me any push back about working hard I just say "Remember, everyday you are building your own home". And she snaps out of it! :)
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Nov 18, 2018
Great post! My DD is 13 and I see plenty of opportunity to get the work in but sometimes she would rather do homework and relax on her days off from Softball/school activities. She is very busy with other sports as well as keeping a 4.0 GPA but I want her to take the bull by the horns and make me get out there with her.

With that said I just give her little push and let her know that she needs to hold up her end of the bargain. So on most days I just tell her lets go and workout. We laugh, talk and have a great time just spending some time together. We get the best f both worlds dad and daughter time and her getting her work in, I think kids need a little push every once in awhile but I try not to over step.
Nov 29, 2009
I agree but my point was if the DD is not invested on her own there is nothing the parent can do.
Absolutely!!! By second year 14U on up is when they play the game for themselves. If they don't want to be there, there's not much you can do to motivate them. If you force them they turn into practice players. The kid who doesn't open her equipment bag unless it's a team practice.
Feb 10, 2018
When my DD was younger and I had no idea what I was doing (still probably true), I would be the one to supply the motivation to practice. That is, I more or less forced her to practice and I was blessed with a child who generally was willing to go along. I did instinctively get that if we didn't put in the additional work, she would not improve--at least not at a suitable rate--and would not be able to establish herself as a pitcher on the team, much less as a mainstay of the pitching staff. There was some combination of anxiety, desperation, and fun that drove those earliest years. It was great spending time with my DD and just cool to learn such a unique skill. It also helped that my daughter had a knack for it--I don't know why or where that came from.

With a pretty solid foundation built and growing experience as a travel pitcher, she is slowly starting to take more ownership of her need to practice. She turns 14 in about 6 weeks. I will nudge or remind and make myself available, but she knows that if she wants to be her best and keep improving (particularly as batters get better, bigger, stronger, and faster) she needs to be pounding the rock 3-4 times a week and practicing the right things the right way. I enjoy practicing with her, we usually have a lot of fun as we get the work in. I have noticed her slowly growing willingness to do things without me pushing or even being there. Just last night, I got stuck at work. We planned to throw in the basement. I called at 6:30 and said I am not going to make it. My wife told me she was already in the basement throwing on her own. That made me happy.

As others have suggested, it is a fine line between being helpful and encouraging and being overbearing. I have tried never to push too hard because I didn't want to risk her hating me or the game or just getting burned out by it all. It's a lot of work as many on here know better than me. I do agree that as the girls get older they have to take greater ownership of their own practice and of the game.
Aug 25, 2019
My DD is probably the opposite of most here. She's 15, plays for school team and a travel team. She's definitely a good player but her natural softball ability is at it's peak. She goes to hitting lessons once a week, and all team workouts without a complaint. But she will never come to me to ask me to practice with her. I mention that we go in the basement to hit, if she says yes, we do, if she says no, we don't. I don't berate her. She really has no plans to play in college. I know if she works hard, she can play in college (she wouldn't get any scholarship, probably D3-but we don't need that, started college fund when she was born). She just enjoys playing on her own terms. I know in the next year or two she'll probably be riding the varsity bench more and may quit the travel team. I was first annoyed with the idea of her not pushing herself, wasting her talent, but now I've come to terms with the idea of her not playing and I'm good with it. I've seen her play since she was 8 yrs old, and if she stops at 16 or 17, that would of been a fun 8-9 years of softball. So bottom line, I let her do what she wants. She'll learn from the results....It's not life and death, it's softball, a game, let's not forget that.
Plus, I started umpiring fastpitch, so I still get my fill.........:)