self-depreciating talk in the dugout / poor body language

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Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,910
113
It's unrealistic to expect teenage girls to all be stoics. For any player, the emotional pressure of an at-bat can be significant. Some put all kinds of pressure on themselves to do well, and that's not always the parent's fault. They hold themselves together while at the plate, but may have to blow off some steam after it's over. That may be a scream while standing on 2B, or some tears walking to the dugout. Some kids just don't like failure, and that's OK. There's not a high level athlete in existence who is good with failure. They have to be taught to deal with it, get past it, and then channel those emotions into positive efforts to make the next chance work out better. Not all will fully absorb that lesson.

As for letting immediate negative reactions prevent them from hustling or cause them to disrespect a team mate, the bench awaits.
 
May 1, 2018
659
63
Ah yes.... this is a problem and will become toxic fast. So the thing that is most said on our field/practice by all the girls on my team is "Next Pitch!" ..... that's our mantra when we are struggling with anything. It's a signal that the game isn't over, the tourney isn't over, your playing career isn't over and there is always a next pitch.
You have to shake off the last pitch and think about the next one. The last pitch doesn't matter anymore.
So talk to the girls, have them learn to refocus. Set expectation..... No one will be perfect, we don't expect that, if you have a bad day, you have a bad day.....Next pitch is at 8am tomorrow.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,295
113
Chicago
1. I say something like "maybe you should practice at home, like we constantly tell all of you."

This kind of response comes across as sarcastic and dismissive, and it's almost certainly not what the player needs in that moment.

If she is a player you know isn't practicing, then pulling her aside and explaining how the extra reps would help is a good thing. Otherwise, I don't see how this response would help.
 
Jan 25, 2022
395
63
This kind of response comes across as sarcastic and dismissive, and it's almost certainly not what the player needs in that moment.

If she is a player you know isn't practicing, then pulling her aside and explaining how the extra reps would help is a good thing. Otherwise, I don't see how this response would help.
I probably have shared that it's done in a very lighthearted way. I'm very supportive, and never negative with them. Something like that is usually accompanied by me faking a ball throw, kicking some dirt on their cleats, and getting twice as much dirt kicked back at me. Maybe grabbing their drink and pretending like I'm gonna take a swig. Gets them smiling again and their mind off the at-bat. Then I toss them a positive aspect of their game play and a tip for the next plate visit.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,295
113
Chicago
I probably have shared that it's done in a very lighthearted way. I'm very supportive, and never negative with them. Something like that is usually accompanied by me faking a ball throw, kicking some dirt on their cleats, and getting twice as much dirt kicked back at me. Maybe grabbing their drink and pretending like I'm gonna take a swig. Gets them smiling again and their mind off the at-bat. Then I toss them a positive aspect of their game play and a tip for the next plate visit.

Have you ever had the sarcasm fall flat? It's kind of my default, too. A joking/sarcastic response, but I've cut back on it and tend to save it for certain players (or the entire group). I feel like at times in the past, it wasn't always taken the right way. Even some high school kids just don't detect sarcasm well.
 
Jun 8, 2016
13,639
113
Have you ever had the sarcasm fall flat? It's kind of my default, too. A joking/sarcastic response, but I've cut back on it and tend to save it for certain players (or the entire group). I feel like at times in the past, it wasn't always taken the right way. Even some high school kids just don't detect sarcasm well.
I learned early in my teaching career that you have to be careful with sarcasm/joking when you are an authority figure..which is really hard for me because, well, I am a sarcastic SOB..
 
Mar 4, 2015
518
93
New England
It's unrealistic to expect teenage girls to all be stoics. For any player, the emotional pressure of an at-bat can be significant. Some put all kinds of pressure on themselves to do well, and that's not always the parent's fault. They hold themselves together while at the plate, but may have to blow off some steam after it's over. That may be a scream while standing on 2B, or some tears walking to the dugout. Some kids just don't like failure, and that's OK. There's not a high level athlete in existence who is good with failure. They have to be taught to deal with it, get past it, and then channel those emotions into positive efforts to make the next chance work out better. Not all will fully absorb that lesson.

As for letting immediate negative reactions prevent them from hustling or cause them to disrespect a team mate, the bench awaits.

Agree, good post. Emotions are good. You want kids who care. You want them to hate making outs. Don't coach that out of them. Praise their competitiveness, but of course, teach them that managing their emotions will help them avoid those outs that they hate so much. If you label the emotions as disrespectful and selfish, they might stop caring in order to avoid the punishment of those labels and lectures. Then you have a bigger problem.

Regarding the girl who didn't return the fist bump invitation: So what? Give her some space, IMO. Can't a player have just a few seconds to feel her emotions? There's value in that. It's honest. Fist pump would've been dishonest. OK, I do agree these two girls need to talk that out and find a way that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. And if there's a pattern of disrespect, you got to deal w/ it. But IMO, coaches get too caught up in "That's disrespectful! I won't tolerate that!" and don't recognize that maybe the player is right, a fist pump isn't what she needed at that moment. Let's problem solve this, not punish someone who was just trying to do what felt was honest and right for her at that moment. It's OK to be down and negative for just a little bit sometimes. If a player hates to make outs and shows it, maybe that will rub off on her teammates.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,295
113
Chicago
Agree, good post. Emotions are good. You want kids who care. You want them to hate making outs. Don't coach that out of them. Praise their competitiveness, but of course, teach them that managing their emotions will help them avoid those outs that they hate so much. If you label the emotions as disrespectful and selfish, they might stop caring in order to avoid the punishment of those labels and lectures. Then you have a bigger problem.

Regarding the girl who didn't return the fist bump invitation: So what? Give her some space, IMO. Can't a player have just a few seconds to feel her emotions? There's value in that. It's honest. Fist pump would've been dishonest. OK, I do agree these two girls need to talk that out and find a way that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. And if there's a pattern of disrespect, you got to deal w/ it. But IMO, coaches get too caught up in "That's disrespectful! I won't tolerate that!" and don't recognize that maybe the player is right, a fist pump isn't what she needed at that moment. Let's problem solve this, not punish someone who was just trying to do what felt was honest and right for her at that moment. It's OK to be down and negative for just a little bit sometimes. If a player hates to make outs and shows it, maybe that will rub off on her teammates.

I think sometimes as adults we need to think more about how we feel in situations where we fail. What do we want in those situations? Do we want an authority figure to talk to us? Do we want a teammate/friend/coworker? Do we want everyone to bugger off for a minute so we can handle it ourselves?

Everyone is different, and some people need different things at different times. We as coaches are not always going to approach/handle each situation perfectly, but communication will fix a lot.
 

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