Working at home questions

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Feb 13, 2018
119
18
How motivated was your daughter to work at home at the younger ages, around 9-13?

Did her work ethic change as she got older? What spurred the change?

How far did she go in her softball career?
 
Apr 25, 2019
175
43
From 9-13, my DD would voluntarily go hit off a tee or bounce a ball against a wall maybe once a week. Once she hit 14 and started attending a few camps she really got motivated. She hits probably 4 times a week on her own now. We will do long toss and some hitting with front toss on the remaining days. She also has been taking care of her shoulders being a catcher. At this age she does a lot of her own research when it comes to various exercises. Being on a high level A class team and seeing the level of older girls at some of these camps has really sparked a fire in her.
 
Feb 10, 2018
337
63
NoVA
My DD is going up to 16s this fall. She has always been willing to do the work (as a P), but rarely initiated it. I would give her a sense of the schedule we needed to keep for her to keep getting better and then I would remind her/initiate those sessions. For pitching, it was always 3-4 days/wk (less games or practices where there were bullpens). Practices were at most an hour end to end (from overhand throwing warm up to packing up to leave). I would say, let’s go pitch and almost always she would say, ok. Never a fight about it that I can remember. She was consistently having success on the field, so that probably helped validate the old man’s approach.

Now at 15, she has a much greater awareness of what goes into continued improvement and also much more independence. Even so, it is still a similar dynamic for us, perhaps because we’ve had it for so long. I plan her bullpens out based on those things she most needs to work on and then we go do it. Still waiting for the day when she says: “Dad grab your glove and bucket because I have to pitch right now” or, better, “I am going to meet my friend the catcher at the park and get my bullpen in. Put your feet up and relax. Let me get you a beer before I go.” LOL
 

TMD

Feb 18, 2016
414
43
During her younger years (8-12ish), my daughter would always initiate and ask me to go outside and "work" with her. I use quotes because it was never really work, but more just playing around. Lots of playing catch, mixing in grounders and pop flys. She also liked me to hit tennis balls that she would field...she loved that, especially when she had to dive. All of this play translated to these basic skills becoming second nature, and none of the "work" done at home was ever regimented drills...it was just fun time with dad. She did also start taking hitting lessons around 10 or 11.

As she got older, the play time at home became less and her work was pretty much limited to hitting lessons and team activities. Does that mean her "work ethic" got worse? Maybe, but more likely it means her world got bigger and softball found its proper place in it.

Did that limit her opportunities? Doubtful. She (and we) knew exactly what she wanted out of the game and its place in the greater scheme of things. She had a successful 4 year career at a strong D3 program, earned conference and NFCA all-academic honors all years eligible, was named all-conference her senior year, graduated cum laude in May, and is gainfully employed in the field of her choice.
 
Sep 19, 2018
598
63
My dd is now 12. She is almost always ready for lessons. the few times her friends had something special going on and she missed it bothers her. For truly at home work with me, I find it is inversely proportional to how she is feeling. When she is swinging well, "Let's go to the field" When she is not feeling good about something, she tries to avoid it like the plague.

In season, she definitely understands preparation turns into performance. But off season work is sometimes not really focused.
 
Nov 20, 2020
648
93
SW Missouri
My DD is going up to 16s this fall. She has always been willing to do the work (as a P), but rarely initiated it. I would give her a sense of the schedule we needed to keep for her to keep getting better and then I would remind her/initiate those sessions. For pitching, it was always 3-4 days/wk (less games or practices where there were bullpens). Practices were at most an hour end to end (from overhand throwing warm up to packing up to leave). I would say, let’s go pitch and almost always she would say, ok. Never a fight about it that I can remember. She was consistently having success on the field, so that probably helped validate the old man’s approach.

When DD was starting TB in 10u she seemed more willing to work. I think it was because it was so new and she was joining a new team (that wasn't a rec program). But at that age it was more the simple stuff. Playing catch, fielding grounders and fly balls, hitting off a tee, etc etc. Many times she would initiate wanting to practice outside. Part boredom (we limit screen time) and part enjoying the practice.

DD is now 13 and it's been a little harder to get her to work at home on her own. It's not that she doesn't want to do it, but she hates doing it on her own. She's a pitcher and fully capable of working on her own throwing into a bownet. The thing we found, like Traps, is that I've had to make a practice schedule for her. Right now it's 3x a week as we're in-between seasons and teams. The other days are spent hitting or working small stuff like fielding footwork. The "sessions" are about an hour. Most of the time I'm available to help and so we'll mix in underhand catch for warm up and I'll catch some. I try to mix in "competition" days where she and I will compete in pitching drills. Whether it be throwing at a pie tin or changeups over a chair into the bownet. It makes it fun. She talks trash A LOT.......

I'm hoping next year will help motivate her to work more on her own. Or take more interest in researching the position. She's a "give me the ball and just let me play" type kid. She just wants to throw. But is at a point where she needs to put work in on the details. And if she doesn't want to.....then she won't be pitching much beyond 14u. Now that she'll be playing at the B-level as a first year 14u squad....it will be interesting to see how that changes her want to work at home.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,529
113
A younger player going out to hit balls on their own looks nice, but beyond a warmup, it's often a waste of time. Without feedback, bad habits can quickly take hold. I'd much rather have them go out and do speed / conditioning work on their own.

DD got used to me initiating at-home practice. There was one point (~late 14U) where she started to argue about timing, and that's when we had the "then you (DD) tell me when we're going to work or you're not playing" talk. By 16/18U, she would proactively ask what I was thinking so she could plan the rest her schedule. What we did was dependent on the time of year and what else was going on. I used to have to put a gun to her head to get her out to run, but now she does that entirely on her own.
 
Oct 4, 2018
2,888
113
My DD is going up to 16s this fall. She has always been willing to do the work (as a P), but rarely initiated it. I would give her a sense of the schedule we needed to keep for her to keep getting better and then I would remind her/initiate those sessions. For pitching, it was always 3-4 days/wk (less games or practices where there were bullpens). Practices were at most an hour end to end (from overhand throwing warm up to packing up to leave). I would say, let’s go pitch and almost always she would say, ok. Never a fight about it that I can remember. She was consistently having success on the field, so that probably helped validate the old man’s approach.

Sounds exactly like us.

Me: "Let's go pitch"
Her: "Ok"
 
Jun 19, 2013
749
18
My DD started softball in rec at about 10 1/2 she was super motivated to catch up and learn. When she decided part way through that season to become a pitcher she figured out real quick that there were tons of girls who were years ahead of her and she wanted to learn. She would ask to go workout or I would show her a drill I found and she would want to go try it. Then she started lessons and she had things to work on from those. Usually I would just say well you have practice Tuesday and Thursday and maybe a lesson one other day so what day(s) we do we want to go out?? and we'd pick times or she would work in her mirror, do workout videos, throw in the garage, etc. She always hated throwing into the net but would when she had to. School always came first and she had straights A's and was student body president but we would still get a couple work outs a week in. We just made it happen, renting space, going to the tennis courts, throwing to her brother or one of us. It was never our ONLY thing. But she kept at it, and is now in her second year pitching for an NAIA level school.
 
Mar 4, 2015
336
63
New England
Aside from talent, the most important predictor, IMO, is how much the player enjoys competing in softball games, and not work ethic.

Work ethic is nice, but it's a trait that depends on passion to be sustained. Lot of kids have work ethic early because that's how they're wired, but then they decide they don't love softball enough to continue putting their work ethic into softball. They find other stuff. That's my daughter. She liked practicing better than games.

On the other hand, best player that I was saw (lived down the street) was the opposite. She didn't work that hard at these ages. But she loved to play softball (the games, not practices) and loved to be good at it. Once the competition began catching up w/ her, she naturally started working harder to stay better than everybody.
 

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