Motivational Mondays Tip of Day

Coaching Tips to Help Negative Success Makers

I often find myself saying things as, “Even the big leaguers have flaws” and “Baseball skill work is a continual process, and one where you never quite master it,” to my baseball students.

In an earlier post, I wrote of the importance of having success makers for baseball players, those little actions that spur players to focus and give them the best chance for success. On the other side, and just as important, is for coaches to be on the lookout for negative success makers, words, and actions that prevent players from the opportunities for success.

It is difficult to look into another’s mind to know their thoughts and the current state of their confidence, but most players give off indications of negative success that gives coaches clues to those. Good coaches are on the lookout for negative success makers and do their best to turn them into positive ones. That is an ongoing process, which takes time, but the ability to turn a pessimistic player into an optimistic one is the sign of a truly great coach. Following are common negative success makers that many ballplayers display. Over time these begin to wear on players, and teams, to the point where playing is no longer fun.

Negative Success Makers – The Problem and Coaching Solution

  1. Showing disgust after plays by swearing, throwing things, etc. Coaching tip – explaining to players that it is never good to show the other team they are getting the best of you is important, as well as the damage it may do to their overall confidence.
  2. Wandering mind – baseball involves constant breaks between pitches and players, who lose focus easily, are at a big disadvantage. Coaching tip – when the pitcher goes into the windup, players must refocus to know the game situation and anticipate the possible plays.
  3. Not interested in practice – many players just want to play games, but not practice the necessary habits for success. Coaching Tip – make practice vital and fun, so kids look forward to it almost as much as games.
  4. Great Expectations – many players are impatient and want to perfect skills immediately. Coaching Tip – Preach that baseball skill development and learning the nuances of baseball strategy is a journey that takes time, with the final destination always in doubt. Help players develop short term goals, as stopping stepping out, when hitting and long range goals, as making the travel team.

Other Negative Success Makers Coaching Tips

  1. Never satisfied and blame self – this is very common with self-driven players. Coaching Tip – explain it is a team game and that they should to look at the good things one did after games and save the negative things for practice.
  2. Only want to hit – many baseball players only want to practice a specific aspect of the game. Coaching Tip – work to convince players that practicing all parts of their game helps the team and their future in the game.
  3. No overall game plan – as implied in number 4 above, many kids do not have goals in mind, so they look at practice as useless. Coaching Tip – express the importance of short and long term, reachable and realistic goals. Overcoming goals (success) spurs players like no other thing.

Negative Success makers lead to early exits from the playing fields for many ballplayers. Coaches, who can help players to overcome those negative words and actions, help players’ futures in life.

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