Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles
A Common Plight
A frequent occurrence young athlete’s encounter is when obstacles get in the way of their goals and dreams. They fail to overcome the obstacle and experience a setback, which seemingly pushes them further from their goal. That’s when a steady dose of self-doubt takes over their mindset crushing their spirit and confidence.
An example might be the softball player who swings at a couple bad pitches striking out her in her first plate appearance. She heads out to center field, the bases loaded and two outs, a ball is hit to hard right at her on the ground, she charges it, but it takes a bad hop and rolls all the way to the fence. All runners score. She throws the ball to the cut-off, but over her head and the hitter scores on the error. And just like that her team is losing 4-0 and she convinces herself that it’s all her fault.
During the remainder of the game not a single ball is hit to her, she walks but is stranded, pops out to short stop with the winning run on third base and despite a valiant comeback, her team loses 4-3. She sits the bench in the second game of the double-header, but gets a chance to pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th inning only to strike out looking on a questionable call by the umpire. Game over. Another loss and quiet bus ride home.
After all, what if she gives it her all only to play poorly again?
I recently read an article in my local newspaper describing how parents are failing their children by overprotecting them from adversity and allowing them to be quitters. There’s some evidence to back this claim up, but I think there’s a lot of blame to be shared. I think you could begin by asking, “What has led to or caused today’s (many) parents to feel, believe and behave in this way?”
The article by Lisa Paine, Where’s the Commitment, cited another article by the Director of the MHSAA (Jack Roberts) titled Parent Problem. Both articles make valid points. Roberts says this concerning Helicopter-Parents who end up just letting their kids quit, “they not only hover, they also seek to rescue their children from the very situations – adversity – that sports uses to teach life lessons.”
He also wrote about the need for parental guidance sections in their athletic handbooks and communications with parents that was unnecessary years ago. Lisa’s main point was about the sad message parents are sending their children, “Anytime life doesn’t go your way, such as in a team or academic setting, later on in life in relationships, jobs and community settings, you simply walk away and quit. That’s setting everyone up for failure.”
Are You Training Yourself to Fail?
I recently saw a video asking that question. Peter Bregman says, “It starts with this basic premise that you get good at anything you do over and over again. What you practice, you get good at.” That is absolutely true. He adds, “But, how often do we make the same mistakes over and over again? If you make a mistake, that’s fine. But when you keep making that same mistake over and over again, what you’re really doing is practicing getting really, really good at making that same mistake. ”
Champions of the World!
The leaves have turned and are littering the landscape with winter just around the corner. You watched your daughter plays softball in the spring and summer, but that seems so long ago. Maybe she practiced during the fall or participated in another sport or activity, while you’ve been going through your daily routine. And then you hear, “Hey Mom. Hey Dad. We have our first game next weekend.”
You get to relax, because it’s not the Championship of the World.