I just got home after seven days of fun, intense, exciting competitive softball at the 14U Premier Girls Fast pitch national championship softball in balmy Huntington Beach/Irvine California.
Many, many things stand out from the six days, 9 games and top ten finish. To finish in the top ten in the nation you need good players, which we had. You need dedicated parents, check we had that too. You need good coaches, and at the risk of sounding cocky, we had that as well.
But I would say what separates the top ten or so teams in the country in any sport, at all levels, male or female, youth, collegiate or professional is mental toughness. A champions mindset.
When you peel back the onion of mom and dad wanting the kid to play more or an umpires bad call you either have what I posted in a quote a few months ago: “Champions are made from something they have deep inside them. A DESIRE, A DREAM, A VISION”.
Teaching the girls about Mindset and mental toughness must be intentional just like you teach any skill. I reminded the girls that how they thought about themselves and what they learned to believe is a skill. The more they bought into it, the more they could handle the ups and downs of high level softball. Because they started to understand who they were as softball players their positive thinking about themselves remained even in the face of adversity.
We promised this group of girls and parents good softball and that we would put them in front of college coaches, and boy did we deliver on that! The mental toughness and mindset things we taught them were added bonuses.
The next step for these girls as they head off to college programs across the country is to continue to build their mental toughness and improve their mindset just like they work on their swings!
Check out my website for more information on How to Develop a Champions Mindset.