I have two topics I want to talk about. One is the fact that it takes more than talent to be successful, it takes ability that only comes from hard work, grinding it out, using “Grit”. I have the privilege to see hundreds of student athletes with talent, work their tails off at hitting, pitching and fielding on a weekly basis, applying whatever level of talent they have with hard work hoping to get a scholarship to the school of their dreams.
I applaud the parents and the team of supporters who help these young student athletes, they make the dream’s possible.
So, with that said, here is the second thing. I had five, maybe six kids who were taking a pitching lesson this week and when they missed their location or didn’t make the ball move like we want it to for a specific pitch, the parent would say something to the effect, “well that ball would have been hit over the fence” or “see you later” to remind the pitcher that if she throws that ball to a good hitter, who is waiting for that pitch and location, will hit it a mile. Now maybe that is true, and maybe the batter would be a good hitter who could hit that specific pitch hard.
However, what if the batter can’t hit the ball over the fence? What if the batter got fooled on a rise ball that they were expecting up, but because it didn’t rise the batter got fooled and swung over the top of the ball? See my point, if we are going to make something up with the imaginary batter, why not make up something positive for the pitcher?
I get it, like I told a couple of the dads, parents and coaches try to motivate student athletes and get them to work harder by pointing out what could go wrong if they don’t throw the pitch well, or if the swing at a low pitch or make a bad throw. But here is the thing, especially for the young female athlete. They are going to remember what they were told and when they miss their spot, or make an error or swing at a bad pitch they will remember what they heard in practice and even if nothing had happened from the situation they will expect it to happen because they were told it would in practice or during the pitching lesson.
We want to give our student athletes as little to think about as possible. If 90% of the game is mental then we must be careful with the words we use when we are trying to motivate our student athletes. Their attitudes, beliefs and most importantly, their mindset is always under construction. Hope to see you at Build A Champion’s Mindset workshop.
“The world’s greatest achievements have been those who have always stayed focused on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts.”