[Note: A lot of "boy/he/him" terms are used in this article but this ABSOLUTELY applies to girls and softball players too, so stick with me if that applies to you. I've got something for you at the end :) ]
Is your kid playing great in practice...
...but struggling in games?
Well if so, I've got a little secret that I want to share with you right now:
More swings in the cage is NOT going to fix his problem.
Neither is telling him what he's doing wrong, or suggesting that he "relax" or "stay confident".
It's not that these are bad suggestions or anything...in fact, they're spot on.
The problem is, it just doesn't work.
It didn't work for me when I was a player.
I always went into panic mode when I struggled...even in little league.
But lucky for me, my slumps never lasted *too* terribly long...
...so when the hits came back, my confidence came back.
But fast forward to my last year of professional baseball with the Astros, and the cold streaks got longer and deeper.
Back in 2005, I spent much of the year not only fighting to stay above .200, but also fighting the loss of confidence and the MAJOR fear about the future.
"What happens if I don't turn this around?"
I had no confidence at the plate and my coaches (and everyone else with eyeballs) could see it plain as day.
Coaches tried to encourage me with "Don't worry about it, just play"
or "You're a good player, believe in yourself."
And while their suggestions were perfect advice....
It was TERRIBLE instruction!
Like, "Oh okay just be confident *snaps fingers*, now I am better!"
You can't talk someone into being confident, and while I appreciated those kind suggestions...
...they never improved my confidence...or my results.
And now that I'm a father, those suggestions don't work on my son either.
In practice he'd be great. He had as much ability as everyone, his actions were smooth, confident and strong.
And then come gametime, things would change.
After a tough at bat or two (or shoot, sometimes before his first at bat!) that player I've seen all week in practice...
would just disappear.
So that'd start the cycle of him feeling bad about himself, wondering what other people are thinking about him and finally thinking bad thoughts about what kind of player he is.
So now that I was seeing the doubts, fears and concerns that haunted my mind during my playing days now playing tricks on my son...
...and my hollow suggestions of "just stay confident, be aggressive" having no impact at all...
I knew there had to be a better way.
...and there IS a better way.
Now, here's something to think about...
What if getting your son (or daughter) to consistently perform at their best was less about following directions and endless repetitions in practice...
...and more about giving them the tools and steps for them to handle their emotions to ALLOW for their training and skill to shine on gameday.
Really think about that.
Because the mind left alone on the baseball field is like a wild beast rampaging through a city.
You can't just talk this beast into behaving...
...or just hope that he goes away.
Action needs to be taken to eliminate the problem.
Now, I have four techniques to share with you that when applied will make an ACTUAL difference in your son's performance.
But before I do I want to share a quick example with you...