Motivational Monday Tip of the Day – Stay Away from the “You Have Tos”

Many times I find myself telling hitters, “You have to take that pitch the opposite way,” only to have them drill the same pitch to their pull side on the next pitch. I am stuck because, apparently, they did not have to do it my way to be successful. However, I know the odds are not with them doing it their way so I have to explain this fact to them, even though they were able to get away with the wrong way occasionally.

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One of the most common phrases that baseball coaches and parents use to motivate kids is, unfortunately, one of the most non-motivating phrases. “You have to practice more,” or “You have to do what the coach says,” or “You have to do it the way I showed you,” etc…


All of these “You have to” statements are probably appropriate, at least from a coaching observation, but the words turn people off. It is often human nature for people, who are told they “have to” do something, to become defensive and want to prove they can do it their way.


It is best to explain the odds to kids instead of saying you have to – saying “success will be more likely if you do it this way,” works to motivate so much better than the “you have to do it this way,” as if there is no other option.


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