The more I coach the more I reflect on myself as a young athlete growing up playing football, and baseball.
I was an okay athlete with a strong desire to succeed. I worked in the off-season to improve my skills and it paid off at times.
But now as an adult I realize that as a child I lacked something that cost me the rewards of success. It’s a lack that still affects me today.
My problem was not the lack of motivation, or the desire to improve, or even the want and know how to succeed.
My problem is the lack of self-discipline.
I am a great starter, but a poor finisher. Understand it takes self-discipline to see a task to completion.
So what’s this got to do with softball?
Softball is a sport that doesn’t require a lot of discipline if you just want to play. Most young athletes can learn the fundamentals and, with a little practice, improve their skills in a short period of time.
However, if it is your desire to be the best softball player you can, you will have to master self-discipline.
I often see the lack of self-discipline in many of the student-athletes I coach, and I do my best to steer them in the right direction.
So what’s the parent of a softball player supposed to do?
First, know that your daughter needs you to help her create an environment that promotes her self-discipline.
Next, ask her what she wants to achieve regarding softball.
It will most likely be a long-term goal (“I want to be a starting pitcher”) so be prepared to help her make some short-term goals that will help her get there.
Then, from her answer, help her develop a game plan for how she can best accomplish those goals.
Drills to develop skills and strength, or even speed programs, could be something done weekly.
Nothing has to be elaborate, or even lengthy. Ten-to-15 extra minutes of work, three-to-four times a week, can make a difference.
By working with your daughter you can help her develop her self-discipline, and also prepare her to succeed in life.