Hey Parent!?! What do you focus on while watching your child’s game?
Baseball/softball are games of failure. The only sport where you are almost guaranteed to fail more than you succeed while playing offense (hitting) and defense takes a great deal of mental focus to be successful. The culture of the experience is naturally intense and stressful by nature for the players, and as a parent, you have the opportunity to support your child and help him/her reach his/her fullest potential.
My goal is to help you understand how to help your child succeed while playing.
1. Focus on fun! Enjoy the process and understand the result on the scoreboard is really not that important. When you enjoy your child’s game, you’re communicating to your child that you enjoy him/her. Your fun will result in your child loving the game more and engaging more.
2. Focus on the positives. Your child will think of the challenges of the game as positive or negative based on what you say. Your athlete wants to impress you and make you proud of them so determine that most things that you say are positive. Success on the field should not determine in their mind whether or not they pleased you because that is a criterion that will cause many games of failure. The car ride home should be filled with recapping the positives and encouragement for your athlete. This will help your child relax, and the performance will be better knowing you are supporting him/her positively through the process. Teach your athlete to concentrate on getting better every day and focus on ways to notice the improvement in your athlete. The car ride home will usually be filled with a conversation on what you concentrate on so make sure to focus on the right things.
3. Focus on respect for the Umpires, teammates, and the other team. Parents that continuously harass umpires or question them cause their athlete to do the same, and usually, it just leads to an athlete that is great at making excuses for why he/she didn’t perform well. When you have respect for others on the field, you teach your child to take responsibility for the outcome and mold a well-rounded athlete.
We are not saying that striving to perform well should be hindered or secondary in youth sports, but we are saying that the win on the scoreboard should not be the primary focus during the developmental years. There will be plenty of time when the focus will change when you get to the high school and collegiate levels where coaches are paid to win on the scoreboard (the focus and balance of sportsmanship and class should be there as well.) The best way to set your athlete up to have the scoreboard wins when it really matters is to keep your focus on these three ideas.
The national stats in youth baseball has 70% currently quitting the game after the age of 12. Your child can beat that statistic.
Let's keep the main thing the main thing in youth sports as fans....cheering on these young athletes in their pursuit of developing their skills in baseball and softball! You and your athlete will enjoy the process much more!
Getting Smarter every day!
Your NextLVL 3.5 Team