Do you let your child or players have the "Freedom to Succeed"?
This is the biggest issue we come across with all of the players we train! They have never truly been allowed to learn or feel what it's like to have the "Freedom to Succeed". This is because most parents and youth coaches don't understand what it means, so they can't even begin to develop this into their child or players.
The Freedom to Succeed means that no matter what your results are, we are going to allow you to experience them mentally, physically and emotionally without any immediate visual or verbal reaction from us. It's vital to the player that they are learning to go through this process for themselves without always worrying about what the reactions are going to be from their parents, teammates, coaches or us after every swing, pitch or play. If they aren't allowed the Freedom to Succeed, you will see them become frozen or paralyzed at the plate, on the mound, in the field or on the base paths as well as they will also be the player who doesn't respond or doesn't want to respond to questions for fear of being ridiculed. This is not how anyone should be living, or how they should be playing baseball or softball!
Parents, your child Trusts you more than anyone in the world, so you need to make sure that you are allowing them the Freedom to Succeed. This doesn't mean you allow them to not be in control of their controllables, like Attitude, Commitment and Effort and hopefully with the right parenting, coaching or training the understanding and ability to also be in control of their thoughts. They need to always be accountable for these areas of their life, just like we all do. I'm talking about allowing them to be in control of their own thoughts while at bat, on the mound, in the field, on the bases, on the bench, in your car on the way to or from the game, practice or at home if you're working on baseball or softball without you constantly talking or critiquing them before or after. Learn to ask them, "What did you like about your game or practice and then what would you like to improve on?" Then if they had a great attitude throughout, gave a great effort throughout and were committed to their team, tell them you're proud of them.
Coaches, you have one of the most responsible and powerful jobs in the world because you are not only developing young players physically. Most importantly, you're developing and nurturing young minds whether you realize it or not. Everything you do and say has a direct impact on your players mentally and emotionally. Build your culture that is inclusive with not only your players but your parents as well because you are all in the journey together. Teach them to ask questions when they don't understand what it is you're trying to teach them physically. If you don't have an answer, be honest with them and say, "Great question, let me get back to you with an answer at the next practice or game." You need to educate them that we will all learn from winning and losing and why we are winning or why we are losing without getting too emotionally caught up in either situation. Your players are always looking at you for this guidance and this just a part of the process that what will allow you and them to achieve the ability of having the "Freedom to Succeed", no matter what's happening around them or being shouted at them.
Take small steps but be consistent (that's the challenge) because if you can master this, your child or your players will Trust you and Thank you until the end of time!
We know how stressful navigating your baseball or softball journey can be, so we are here to help. Book your free consultation with us or contact Kirk McNabb directly at 226-821-2402.
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