COACHES: Be careful where you turn your team’s attention!
It always bothers me when coaches talk to their team before a game and focus more on what the other team can do vs what their own team will do.
Not only does that pull your team’s focus away from executing what they need to, it can also put a dent in their mental game. How?
Think about this, you can either keep your players focused on executing and performing well…
…you can turn your players focus on your opponent, what they can do, what their strengths are.
Guess what will move to the forefront of your player’s minds throughout the game.
Whatever it is you turned their attention toward.
If you filled your team’s mind with…
- how they will hit the ball
- how they will capitalize on certain situations
- how they will execute what they were taught in training
- how they will shut down the other team on defense
- etc, etc, etc
…then when it starts happening in the game, they’ll think, “Hey, coach was right! We can hit the ball, we will execute well, we are going to score runs, and we will play solid defense.”
BUT, if you filled your team’s mind with…
- how strong your opponent’s pitching is
- how hard the other team can hit the ball
- how much the other team usually scores
- how the pitcher will get strike outs (their go to strike out pitch)
- how tough the other team’s defense is
…then when things start happening in the game, your team will think, “Hey, coach was right! The other team DOES have good pitching. The other team CAN hit the ball hard. The pitcher DOES have a great change up…”
etc, etc, etc.
Which thoughts would you rather have your team focused on before and during competition?
More often than not, you’re better off keeping MOST of your focus on things you can control (like your own team)!
One more thing…
Don’t allow your game to be ruled by what other people say, do, or think. Too often we hear someone criticize the way we do things and allow what they say to dictate what we do going forward, even if it’s not what’s best for us.
There’s a difference between keeping and open mind/effectively using constructive criticism and changing what you do simply because other people think or say you should. Make sure you make changes for the right reasons!
Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.