5 Ways To Encourage In A Game Of Failure
#1 Build Self-Esteem
In D1 Baseball we learn about the importance of self-talk and how it can translate into better success on the field. This is something I wish I would have known when I was growing up in youth sports. Self talk is so important — Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
It is important in self-esteem building to not compare yourself to others in baseball! So many of the complaints we hear from baseball parents have something to do with some other player on their team and “special treatment.” Jealousy and comparisons with teammates are not healthy thought to be going through a youth baseball players’ head. Parents don’t compare your kid to others on the team.
#2 The Power of the Bribe
A great way to encourage in youth baseball is with the good old-fashioned bribe. Coaches and parents, pick up a pack of helmet stickers at a local sporting goods store for around $5-10. With these stickers you can interchange hits or home runs with numbers on the back of his helmet. This way you can encourage his success while incentivizing him to be successful.
#3 Positive Reinforcement > Negative Reinforcement
In an already negative game (especially when you get older) extra negativity should be avoided. We already talked about negative thoughts and comparisons with teammates. But there are other areas where positivism and encouragement can overcome negativity. Smiles are better than stern looks when a child looks at you during a game. Smiles are so powerful. They always tend to make others smile. Rather than getting on to your kid when he messes up in baseball try phrases like: “so what” or “get em next time.”
After all, it is just a game. A game that is much more fun when you are encouraged along the way!
#4 Seek Encouraging Instruction
There are two types of coaches out there, the one that encourages, and the one that screams at kids because he’s stuck in 1997 when he played. Seek out those coaches that are knowledgeable enough to know that kids play the best when they have high self-esteem and believe in themselves. Find coaches that cultivate that kind of mindset at the baseball field.
#5 Sign up for a Fun Baseball Camp
The best and most encouraging baseball summer camps in the country are American Baseball Camps. D1 instruction from the D1 Players with an emphasis on encouragement: Phoenix AZ | Wichita KS | Kansas City MO| Tulsa OK
– Guest Author: Nick Rotola Professional Baseball Player
Parents, as your athletes get older and begin separating themselves from their competition, are you aware of the opportunities that they truly have at the next level?
There are roughly 2,000 collegiate teams in the United States looking to fill rosters with the players that best fit and buy into their program’s traditions and beliefs on the baseball field.
Now, do not get overwhelmed, I understand that a lot of coaches talk about the percentage of players that make it to that level, (roughly 6.4% of senior athletes in High School make it to the collegiate level, according to the NCAA ), but do not let that discourage your athlete from giving it their all to play beyond their High School years.
With the new technological advancements in the game of baseball and the use of recruitment based camps and tournaments, there are new and much more accessible ways of getting a head start in the recruiting process.
New social media accounts, and online websites such as FieldLevel, Hudl, Prep Links, and so on, give coaches the ability to watch your player from the convenience and comfort of their current surroundings making recruitment far more elaborate and extensive than ever before.
By creating an online profile describing your athlete; height, weight, class of graduation, and current statistics, it gives coaches a better opportunity to find you earlier, as well as keep tabs on you throughout your high school and summer seasons.
Giving coaches video on performance, or fundamental-based video analysis, along with updated statistics allows coaches to track tendencies as well as get a better wholesome picture of a player as an athlete. With so many technological advances, I believe there is a better opportunity for a true evaluation of a player, for a longer and overall better understanding of a person’s full potential on the field.
Keeping your online profiles updated, as well as accurate, gives you that much more of a head start in the recruiting process.
Along with the advancements in technology, there has been an increase in recruitment based camps and tournaments that have become extremely detrimental in getting the appropriate exposure to recruits.
Through area-based scouting camps, there has been a tremendous increase in collegiate coaching turn-outs, and in turn the number of players that successfully get an opportunity to play college baseball has significantly gone up.
Getting involved in camps, or teams that partake in recruitment based activities gives your athlete an extreme edge over the majority of their competition.
Teaching your child to play with coaches watching, teaches them to slow the game down as well as teaches them the appropriate way to react and play the game of baseball.
Normalizing the pressure leads to both a confidence boost for the athlete, as well as experience at the most competitive level that most children do not get. What you are looking for is an edge, something that makes you stand out from the rest, and in a sport full of failures, the experience is the best thing for understanding and crafting your overall skills.
Outside of the diamond is where the impact is tremendous, teaching athletes at a young age how to correctly communicate and effectively converse with scouts, impact recruitment as much, if not more than the skills you attribute to the field.
The most asked question by coaches at the next level is, “What is he like as a person? What are his grades like? Is he coachable?”.
Thus, learning how to properly communicate with coaches is extremely important, so getting them used to these types of conversations at a younger age, gives them a head start come their junior and senior year when they start talking with coaches more frequently.
The best thing you can do is get exposure for your athlete, actually, in my opinion, there is no such thing as too much exposure, thus I would suggest going above and beyond if this truly is what your child wants to do.
Alongside recruitment camps, come competitive Select baseball. These are normally summer and winter teams that are separate from the high-school team. These teams can be extremely beneficial in getting recruited and playing at the highest level.
Find your athlete a team that partakes in recruitment based activities. Whether that being camps, or playing in tournaments that are sponsored by, or represented by college teams. These events give players direct contact and exposure to Collegiate coaches, as well as gives them a more personable experience when meeting and talking with these coaches.
By normalizing the conversations between your athlete and collegiate coaches, as well as exposing coaches to your athletes in person, it creates more opportunity for your athlete as a whole.
Remember, college baseball is a passion, but finding a home away from home is also important in finding the perfect fit for each athlete.
Using the new technological resources, as well as exposing your kids to the highest caliber of competition and pressure from playing in front of recruiters, it will best set them up for success to get seen and talked to.
Putting yourself in front of those that you are trying to impress is the best way of getting picked up and brought aboard a collegiate team, and if you successfully use the newly available resources it will increase the likelihood of being talked too, as well as finding your athletes dream school to settle down and pursue the rest of their lives.
Kids don’t get better unless they play a lot of baseball. A great source of baseball during the summertime are youth baseball camps.
They break up the monotony of baseball games and practices and they are usually designed to quickly and effectively make your kid a better baseball player. But what makes a great youth baseball camp?
What should you look for when signing your kid up for one? We list our top three things to look for in a youth baseball camp.
The things learned at a baseball camp have to be relevant to a kid’s baseball life.
Camp coaches need to be clear with your kid in how the things learned at camp can actually be applied in a game. If camp coaches are just discussion theories with your kids and tweaking mechanics your kids aren’t going to take anything away from the camp.
A good camp gives a kid tangible adjustments and teaches the kid how to apply them. Find an instructional youth baseball camp that is delivering relevant information!
Youth Baseball Camps should be mostly about having fun. Why? Baseball players perform best when they are having fun. This doesn’t mean picking daisies and playing with bubbles.
What we are talking about here is finding a camp that the kid’s not going to hate. So many of the youth baseball camps we have researched have the kids bouncing around from drill to drill going through the motions and grinding it out.
This can hurt a kid’s motivation and drive for the game of baseball. Instead, put him in a camp where he is having the time of his life & getting a lot better. Why are MLB guys always joking around and having fun in the dugout?
The game is supposed to be fun, and players perform the best when they are having fun.
Youth baseball camps are huge in the development of young ballplayers, but that doesn’t mean you should have to refinance your house to pay for them. Find a quality youth baseball camp that costs around $50-$75 a day.
Anything higher than that and you’re looking at greedy camp coaches/owners. There is no reason to be paying $400 for a 3 day camp just because it’s led by an ex-Major Leaguer. Quality instruction can be found for much less.
Youth baseball camps are about giving back to the next generation of young baseball players, not about profits. So, find a camp that meets all of your baseball camp needs, and is affordable too.
– Blog written by ABC Founder Nick Rotola. American Baseball Camps offers baseball camps all across the US. View their Baseball Camps Page, or visit their American Baseball Camps Home Page.
A 3 Step Guide To A Great Car Ride Home
Parents, do you ever feel as if you are stuck on what to say to your child after a long day on the field? Now, normally on the good days, where your child has a few hits and played well the conversation might seem easy.
A quick, “Good Game”, or “Wow, way to play today!” In hopes that your son or daughter will take over the conversation with how they felt, or the play-by-play from their perspective of being on the field.
Well with all good things, comes the bad, and in those times, do you feel as if you freeze up?
Or do you feel as if the awkward silence has weight within the room, and you are finding any way to make it less stressful?
Being a college athlete, I have endured countless car rides home, some of them being my parents and I interrupting each other in excitement over the unbelievable plays made in the game and some of them being dead silent.
Though there were the bad days where no one knew what to say, not even me, those were the days that helped shaped me into the player and man I am today.
Parents, here are some helpful hints and insight into the ways to effectively communicate through the good and bad days your child will go through when playing this game.
Hint #1: BE SUPPORTIVE
No matter what kind of day your child is having, be there. Tell them how the game personally made you feel like a supporting figure, but then after, LISTEN.
For several years in my life, I believe I felt like I held my true opinions internally on the game until I was alone and could express myself. This was not healthy, as I was bottling up my emotions, rather than expressing them.
Parents, please, let your children who are passionate about their sport(s) express themselves, they need to get the emotions out and in the open in order to best cope and move forward.
Just like us adults, when we hold things in, rather than expressing them it negatively impacts our emotional aura.
Children experience this as well when playing sports, so rather than sitting in the car in silence, even if it was a tough day at the field, make sure you show support and engage in getting your children to express how they are feeling after each game, proving your true support, as well as helping them move forward.
When children see you care for their feelings, and you give them the opportunity to express themselves, it shows them how much you truly care, and are there for them as a true support system in their life both as an athlete, and an individual in this world.
Hint #2: Communicate WITH your Child, Rather than TO Him
Being an athlete you put a tremendous amount of pressure on yourself to succeed. In the game of baseball, you see as each player goes through an emotional rollercoaster throughout each game based on the different outcomes and circumstances that come within a baseball game.
Being that athletes apply so much pressure to themselves when we are faced with failure, on numerous accounts our first reaction is to be upset with ourselves for not being successful.
What this does over time is break us down, and then what we need most after is for the people we love most to adapt with us and feel as we do base on the outcomes of the current game.
Take this, for example, your son/daughter has the game of his life, goes 4-4 with a walk-off home run, the success and emotions he will feel this day will normally be much different than the day he happens to go 0-4 with 2 strike-outs.
What we tend not to realize is the significance of what they were truly feeling in those moments. Rather than saying “Today was just a tough day”, or “You tried your best”, try encouraging them by asking what they were feeling that specific day. Or, ask them what they felt did not work one day, compared to the day they were successful.
Questions that make the athlete reflect on their current states within the game will positively lead to them reflecting, and working towards better execution in the future.
Allowing your children to learn from their mistakes is a normal want for most parents, so applying the same core values to the sport they love, will show them you are there for them, rather than just there to watch.
Work with your child on coming to resolve or a solution to work for come the next time he/she touches the diamond.
Referring to the emotional side of baseball, rather than just the physical demand that comes with playing this sport will give your child insight into the larger aspect of this game.
That being, that the majority of true-life lessons you learn can be easily implemented to the game of baseball, thus making them realize in the end that we truly are still just ‘playing a game’.
Paying attention to how your child is feeling within, and effectively getting he/her to communicate it with you will lead to healthier coping remedies come the next time they feel this way, either after another game or after a life event.
Communication is key, and doing so with your child, rather than directing comments at him will better lead to fluent and healthy conversation in the car ride home from both good and bad performances.
Adjust your topics, to the things your athlete has been feeling or is expressing with you, in order to give off the most effective and efficient communication to your child.
Being an athlete is not easy, but having a support system, and someone to turn to effectively communicate when you need too is detrimental in the overall success of any athlete and person in this world.
Hint #3: Explain the Bigger Picture
Being an athlete myself, it took me a long time to see the relevance, and the overall outcomes you learn from playing the game of baseball.
There are countless life lessons I am going to take away from this game, that I never truly realized at a young age.
These lessons are something I believe children need to learn to not only see but also act upon starting at a much younger age.
Learning when to be effectively aggressive, as well as learning to control your breathing in order to better control yourself in each situation is something I wish I would have understood earlier, and it is something I believe parents can show and explain to their kids based on what each child felt and expresses to you after a game.
These moments that we as baseball players express as, “Oh I just missed that, next time I have to be ready just a little sooner” or, “Man, I didn’t expect that base-runner to do that, next time I will learn and expect them to attempt to score on the same opportunity”.
These sayings, the little things that lead to us making adjustments are things adults do every day. Whether that be, planning to leave for work a few minutes earlier on a Monday, due to traffic being a little worse than normal, or you have to accommodate to an unexpected meeting within the workplace.
These adjustments on our toes, and learning to work with them rather than making excuses to be defeated by them are things your children will one day face.
So, simply explain that to them, use their examples to better them for the world outside the white-lines, as well as within them, this way come other challenges they face, or competition that arises within their life, they will be better prepared to work to become successful.
As much as we who endure in this game love it, there is more to life and we ALL know that. But, as a child I remember thinking there was nothing more important than finding a way to win a game, the thing is that mentality should go hand-in-hand with the mentality we as athletes have outside the field as well.
As parents, make sure you express the fact that there is more to life and that these things your athlete is experiencing are things that will come up over and over again within their life, and it takes the ability of continuously making adjustments in order to best accommodate to each situation we face.
This game comes with so many highs, and lows. So many emotions and feelings that are hard to explain in words at times.
But athletes need a support system, one that is there to communicate with you and help you understand the emotions you are feeling. The life lessons and experiences that come with the game are ones that need to be remembered, and if effectively communicated and reviewed, can be detrimental in further success in life.
The car ride home from games has never been an easy task, yet I hope these hints make it a bit more impactful and beneficial for the family as a whole.