Updated: Oct 4
I've been in or around the sport of softball for awhile. Played it at many different levels, from 6 years old through 4 years of college. I’ve studied it, watched it, talked about it, listened to others talk about it, and picked the brains of countless coaches, parents, and players. Over the years of coaching, I have run into all types, sizes, skills, moods, and ages of players.
BTW, I'm still learning, gathering, studying, evolving, and adding to my mental library of drills--daily.
But I'm not here to convince you that I know what I am doing, nor explain to you why I have had success in the coaching space.
Here’s the deal:
Part of what you are paying me for is my lengthy experience and my ability to diagnose a problem. Sometimes it's not even a problem, it's just me reiterating or exemplifying strengths, or helping a girl discover her confidence.
But can we address the elephant in the room and be honest in saying--you sought and are asking me for my expertise...for a reason?
So for the sake of lesson time or clinic time and value for your dollar, let go of the control. Seriously, for 30 minutes, let. it. go. And maybe even give up some of that control long term so your daughter can pick it up for her advancement.
Providing me with your extensive and directive analysis of what you deem as "the problem", especially in front of your daughter, is counterintuitive and often the bulk of the issue especially when what you are saying is confusing even to me. Or worse, totally inaccurate or incorrect.
Trust that you are not the only parent that has told told your daughter the exact same things I'm about to, but had to pay me to reinforce. Or that you have 30 videos of her swinging and missing and want to show me every single one. Or that you have watched YouTube videos at nauseam and can't understand why she still isn't pitching correctly. Or that you just bought your daughter the latest hot bat along with the four others in her bag and want to know if the bat is too heavy or if another should be bought because she still isn't hitting the ball in a game.
...Or that you played X number of years of baseball...
Take my advice and run with it, or seek someone who you think you can better boss around...I mean, can provide better help. :)
I’ve been coaching long enough to recognize and diagnose within the first couple of swings/pitches, and have also narrowed down the questions to ask to get a sense of the type of player your daughter is. I base my plan of action of coaching your daughter not only on the answers I receive, but also off of eye contact, the ability to articulate or put into words her strengths and weaknesses, and who she looks at when she formulates or desperately seeks a parent to answer for her to so she's off the hook.
From the very first introduction and the effort put into a simple hand shake, I can tell if this is going to be one of the very first times your daughter is going to be held accountable and asked by a coach to take responsibility over their personal success.
And I am telling you right now, when the answers to the questions I am asking are interjected by the parent, 9 times out of 10 the problem you are paying me to find a solution for, is stemming from your daughter having an issue with her confidence.
I'm aware. And if you'd like to get to know me better and know how I'm so aware, I'm a detail-oriented, empath, that often over-thinks and manages ADHD. So yeah, I can pick up on the subtle (or not so subtle) cues that you many not even be aware you're giving me.
The bottom line:
Lessons are more than about mimicking movements, this is me leading in a way that gets parents and players to get on board for a massive shift in work ethic and effort. So let go of all of the control so that one day your player can say, "I played softball for X amount of years because I just couldn't get enough of it."