A Positive Life Attitude makes the Difference
I have read that many college coaches try to observe so much more than just a player’s performance on the fields. Obviously, they watch the athlete’s demeanor during games to see if players have a positive life attitude. When it is apparent players are having fun, have a love of the game, and enjoy competition, their chances of getting a college offer increase.
Besides those on the field observations, college coaches try to find a players mentality in other ways. They hope to see a positive life attitude by observing how recruits treat other people before and after games. Having good relationships with adults – parents and coaches – goes a long way towards coaches making offers to recruits.
All of the above factors, along with a good work ethic in the classroom, may give coaches clues to players’ “coach-ability” factor, something significant to success beyond just having enormous talent. Coaches want to know that incoming players are decent people as well. As mentioned, they love seeing a positive life attitude in an athlete. If players have a positive life attitude, coaches know many good possibilities exist, as well as making their coaching lives easier.
My Experience with positive life attitude in kids
I am the same way when I get new ballplayers for lessons. I guess it is natural, but I can’t help but try to gauge whether I think a player will continue playing for a long time or give up the game in the near future. Sometimes I am fooled by the results, but usually, I am right with my assessment. Rarely, do I base my prediction on talent, although that is part of the equation.
Of course, there is no way of getting around having some degree of athleticism and some necessary baseball skills. Beyond those, the difference maker has little to do with the player. One thing makes the difference with whether they fall by the baseball wayside, or not. The difference maker is this “How positive the parents and coaches are.” When the people around athletes are optimistic and encouraging, players develop the same mindsets. On the other hand, when kids are around negative adults, a pessimistic attitude forms in them.
Many think success is the difference maker, but that alone does not guarantee love is present. I have seen many young ballplayers who are successful, but the game is not in their heart. They give up playing in the teenage years if not before. On the other hand, many players love the game but are not very good at it. They fall by the wayside because of a lack of talent.
Most players fall in between – some talent and some love. As mentioned, the decision to keep playing comes from the people around the athletes. Adults, who expect too much, nag at players to do this or that, or are never satisfied with the child’s or team’s results or effort, drive kids away. Those coaches and parents who display patience and never-ending enthusiasm keep players interested.
If you want kids to stay interested, enjoying the games and willing to work at it, remember, “Negativity, rarely, if ever, inspires.”
Developing a Positive attitude is a never-ending coaching process
So often, players limit their mind to what is possible. They set out to get a hit that day when they should think multiple hits are possible. When players restrict their thinking to less than what is possible, their chances of having success disappears. Often, after a player gets that one hit, they relax and become satisfied, thereby limiting their opportunities of an even better game.
Baseball coaches must help players develop a positive thinking mindset. That process entails a daily practice of saying things that players begin to incorporate into their baseball mentality. Following are some examples of words coaches should use.
Positive statements that produce a positive life attitude in time
“Think 4 hits today.”
“Want the ball hit to you.”
“It only takes one.”
“Today is our day.”
“Right moment, right player up.”
“I wouldn’t want anyone else in this spot than you.”
“Each play is separate from the past.”
“Remember the good plays and hits, forget the bad ones.”
“Things will turn around.”
“There is a way.”
“We will find a way.”
“Let’s start your season again today.”
“Believe in yourself.”
“Believe in each other”
“I will never give up on you guys/girls.”
Of course, the number of positive statements is endless. Little words of positive-thinking encouragement help players so they do not limit their potential, giving them a great outlook not only for baseball but life, also.
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” now $5 and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.