self-depreciating talk in the dugout / poor body language

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RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
6,643
113
California
Not certain about that particular team situation however sometimes players start speaking out like that so that others around them recognize they are aware of their own pitfalls... And can stem back being picked on or harangued or coached.

'I screwed up, i'm aware' is one thing,


But just being negative and spouting negativity is a mindset.
Could be learned behavior could be purposeful behavior. Whatever it is negativity should never be allowed on the field or anywhere near teammates. Not even out of a coach's mouth. That said unfortunately people use negativity in a strange way to connect with others to find similar grief that makes them feel more normal.

I believe in positive purposeful presence and I see the power of how it is successful!
 
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RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
6,643
113
California
Another comment I might add about this is how much young people here negativity from their parents. They bring up comments they already know their pitfall because they already know they're going to hear it when they drive home.
 
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Jul 22, 2015
759
93
"I can't hit anymore", "I don't know what's wrong with me." "I just suck at hitting right now." "Does anybody know what I am doing wrong?
Sometimes this is just a player working through things out loud and hoping a teammate will chime in with some support and encouragement. If it has truly processed into a "funk" then you pull that player aside and have a talk about not letting previous plays affect the next ones, etc.

On the 2nd situation: I have a hard time expecting a player who just struck out to be chipper and ready to hear anything from a teammate. Let them have a minute to clear their head. I know when I played that I was in no mood to hear anything from anyone after a bad at bat. I don't really see that as a negative unless it spreads into other interactions and/or they become a selfish player who is more focused on themselves than the team.

No excuse for a lack of hustle running out a ground ball, fly ball, or dropped 3rd strike. EVERY player runs out EVERY ball without exception. If it's a deep fly ball I want them near 2B when it's caught. Hustle is one of the few things that is 100% in your control as a player so there is no real excuse for not going all-out.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,192
113
Chicago
These are 15 year old girls.

"I can't hit anymore", "I don't know what's wrong with me." "I just suck at hitting right now." "Does anybody know what I am doing wrong?" Blah Blah Blah.
Is it as simple as making a team rule that this type of talk is not allowed or do you address the individuals and explain that this isn't help yourself or your teammates and it must stop immediately?

How to handle another situation: Batter strikes out swinging. As she heads back to the dugout, player on deck circle offer condolences with a knuckle knock and "you'll get them next time" but the strike victim walks right past her because she is so upset. Let it go?

One more: Player failing to run out lazy flyballs (just trots down the line barely making it to 1st base because they are upset at themselves). Make another team rule? Let it go?

1) Is this one player who's having some confidence issues or a team-wide problem? You can't legislate confidence. If someone's struggling, talk to them. Maybe say that the negativity brings down the team if you think it's happening, but sometimes players need to vent. If she's letting off some steam to a close teammate, this may not even be a problem.

If the whole team is just constantly negative, that's not good.

2) Let it go if that's all it is. If she secretly hates the on-deck hitter or there's something bigger, might need to be addressed.

3) We've all done it, but this one can actually affect the outcome. Even at high levels players drop balls. I watched Megan Wiggins misplay a routine flyball over the weekend because the sun was just brutal. Gotta run it out, and a brief benching isn't an overreaction (even if she misses a single at bat or inning in the field, the message could get through).

Everyone processes failure their own way. Some of it can seem "negative" to outside observers. I know, at times, I had horrible body language after I did something wrong. But it didn't affect what I did next. I have to get mad to get over it. I can't just "shake it off." And a coach or player telling me to shake it off would just bother me more. It's probably not possible to learn every player, but it's worth it to try. Some of them need a hug when they mess up. Some of them need a kick in the butt. Some need to be left alone to sulk for a couple minutes. Some need you, the coach, to go away so a teammate can get her back on track (I have, in the past, had Girl A talk to Girl B because I knew she would be a better messenger in the situation).

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your first couple examples. The third one is effort/hustle though, and nothing wrong with a team rule that says you run out every ball in play.
 
Nov 26, 2010
4,637
113
Michigan
These are 15 year old girls.

"I can't hit anymore", "I don't know what's wrong with me." "I just suck at hitting right now." "Does anybody know what I am doing wrong?" Blah Blah Blah.
Is it as simple as making a team rule that this type of talk is not allowed or do you address the individuals and explain that this isn't help yourself or your teammates and it must stop immediately?

How to handle another situation: Batter strikes out swinging. As she heads back to the dugout, player on deck circle offer condolences with a knuckle knock and "you'll get them next time" but the strike victim walks right past her because she is so upset. Let it go?

One more: Player failing to run out lazy flyballs (just trots down the line barely making it to 1st base because they are upset at themselves). Make another team rule? Let it go?
You can’t control emotion via rule. 15 year olds are a bundle of emotions.

1. The first one could be insecurity coming out. She is looking for feedback. So give her some.

2. At 15, where are the team leaders who should be correcting this. You need to help your peer leaders learn how to address this. But honestly, do you want a player to be happy about a K? She shouldn’t ignore her teammate’s effort. But I don’t want a hollow gesture either. Every player will respond differently to failures.

3. Bench time. Don’t want to run out a ball in play? Have a seat.
 
May 2, 2018
187
43
Central Virginia
I agree with the last few comments here. There is a fine line between creating and fostering a positive environment and trying to micromanage the feelings and emotions of teenagers. These are not robots who always have to smile and be cheery, they are human beings with individual personalities and emotions.

Outsiders SEE bad body language/actions, the individual player may FEEL embarrassment/frustration/anger/etc.... Teach them how to navigate their emotions.

Continual discussions about bad body language and positive attitudes, even in times of failure, is a must. There needs to be waaaaaaay more mental training going on in youth athletics. Not everyone knows how to process failure but for some reason the coach/parents just expect it. Sometimes that's not how it works.
 
Jan 25, 2022
326
63
1. I say something (lightheartedly) like "maybe you should practice at home, like we constantly tell all of you."

2. One warning about being benched generally works. I took my own kid out once for being dramatic.

3. Ours aren't good enough yet. Any contact has them running with joy like they're burning rocket fuel.
 
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Oct 1, 2014
1,869
113
USA
Seek out and share solid, positive mental attitude examples/stories/teaching etc., like the pearl that Ken K shared this week on here.
 

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