It is that time of year when the NCAA regional softball playoffs start and has everyone thinking a little more about how their kid pitches, hits or throw compared to the kids they see on television. Heck, some kids will suddenly have an entire new style thinking that the one they saw last weekend may just work better than the one we worked on the last 8 or 9 months.
Several times this week I had a12 to 16-year-old pitching client tells me her goal is to play college softball and if you know me, you know nothing makes me happier than a teenager who sets goals. After all, I know for sure that all the kids that I have coached over the last 20 years have accomplished big things because they understood the importance of goal setting, and they learned how to put some action behind their goal. This includes the kids that have gone on to become lawyers, police officers, executives at tech firms, nurses and a few who have gone on to be doctors. Some had the good fortune to have parents who understood that they had to do more than just hear the kid talk about their goal, but they needed to act.
Another big change in the last decade that I have personally seen is how this generation lives in an entitled world. They should be a supervisor or boss because they work hard, not because they have paid their dues. Today’s society is all about the you can “have what you want”, because you want it world, so young people today and their parents think that by saying they want to play college softball they will. I had a few parents tell me this week, after hearing their kid say their goal is to play college softball, say “she works hard”, as if to say therefore she should be given a scholarship.
I ask parents and kids after hearing them say their goal about college, “what are you doing about it”, which usually leaves them looking puzzled and confused as if to say we are paying you for lessons, what do you mean what are we doing about it.
Then I begin to ask them a series of questions like: what separates those great softball players who play college softball from the great college softball players who do not receive a college offer? What percentage of college scholarships become available to the Pac12 since this is where everyone thinks they are going to play? Let’s say it is 5 percent, are you one of the 5 percenters? Do you do what 95 percent of the student athletes are doing or are you doing what the 5 percent who get scholarships are doing? Then the biggest question that I believe distinguishes the scholar athletes from the non-scholar athlete’s, is a mindset. If 90 percent of the game is mental what are you doing to improve mindset?
Parents, coaches and more importantly, student athletes, as you work hard to get bigger, stronger and faster know that this alone does not insure you of getting a scholarship. It takes more than hard work, so are you doing the other stuff?
Dreams don’t work unless you do. ~ John C. Maxwell