I need to address a pet peeve that I have overheard a few times when watching games recently. And when I was working with a player the other night I mentioned not putting extra pressure on yourself in the box even when teammate(s) say something along the lines of “we need you”.
The look she gave me of, "OMG yes, you see me, you understand."
Seeing her reaction and hearing the phrase often enough, I think this needs to be addressed:
Saying to a teammate, “We need you.”
To me, this simple and assumptive way to motivate a teammate, is along the same lines of if you don’t preform you are letting the team down. If you don’t do what we need you to do (ie, get a hit, score a run, throw a strike, get the out) we suffer.
Last I checked, softball is a team sport. You do your job, I do mine, we win.
You don’t need me, you need to do your job too. If you're in the lineup you had just as much of an opportunity to get the job done as I did, perhaps you need to do more to prepare for your opportunities instead of pressuring me to carry more weight.
Better ways to support your teammate?
"I believe in you"
"I got your back no matter what"
"You can do this"
"We'll get the next one"