…show them you care. I’ve said this before. You can know everything there is to know about softball. You can be giving a player the best advice she’s ever gotten, but if she doesn’t feel like you’re doing it to help her it may be falling on deaf ears.
Softball players don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Many, many, many, many wise coaches have said this before me. It’s sooooo true. You have to get to know them. You have to genuinely be there to help them because you care about them. You have to actually give a da**.
Now it doesn’t have to be all hugs and kisses like the picture shown here. Even the toughest coaches out there can be respected and even liked by their players as long as the players know that the coach honestly cares about them and it doing his/her best to help them become the best they can be.
It’s not about how hard or “soft” you are as a coach that matters. It’s where your heart is that makes a bigger impact on players. If you want to have the biggest influence possible, it doesn’t matter how much you know until players believe you are truly there for them.
They may be younger than you, but judging from my own experience, players are not stupid. They know when a coach is more concerned with his or her own reputation above all else. They know when a coach really doesn’t care about what happens but is just there to fill a spot because no one else would. They know when a coach does NOT have the players best interest at heart.
As people, we all have BS meters. That’s why we don’t trust many of the salesmen we meet, but when we come across one we trust and like, that salesman just picked up a customer for life! Guess what? Players have BS meters too, but when they meet a coach that passes their BS test with flying colors, most times it’s the beginning of a lifelong respect for that coach.