Motivational Monday Tip of the Day – Definition of Pushing

I hear this statement from parents and coaches often, “He/she never wants to practice.”

Motivating baseball players, especially talented ones, who seem uninterested in working hard, can be frustrating for parents and coaches.  Pleading for kids to practice more and pushing them to do what parents and coaches want them to do, usually turn kids off even more. No absolute solutions exist to motivating players, but pushing leads to the end of kids wanting to keep playing baseball for very long.

The good news is that most every adult agrees with this. The bad news is that adults do not notice the difference between pushing and motivating because pushing is hard to define, so many adults fall into the pushing syndrome trap.

Johnny Evers (1881 – 1947), Major League Baseb...

Johnny Evers (1881 – 1947), Major League Baseball player and manager (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Definition of pushing – when adults put more emphasis on a certain area of a child’s life (baseball), to the point where success is more important for the adult than for the child.

What to do?

Treat every aspect of kids’ life, where effort is important, with the same emphasis. Being casual about youth working hard in school, but being adamant they practice baseball more, is the start of the “pushing “syndrome.

Keep things in perspective – realize that when kids display a good work ethic with other activities (schoolwork included) but not with baseball, everything is OK.

Remain Positive – parents and coaches, who remain positive and optimistic with “lazy” players, have the best chance of seeing unmotivated players turn into motivated ones in the future.

Nudge them with realistic but non-judgmental words, as “long term success only comes with practice” is better than the common pushing words of “You have to practice more.”

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