The most important thing to understand about confidence is it isn’t something that we are born with, it is something that each of us create from within constant commitment, and changing your mindset.
A comment that is made by the parents of my softball athletes, when I am chatting with them, is:
“I just wish I could give her the confidence; everything in their softball game would come together if she just believed in herself.”
Isn’t that the truth?! I wish for the same thing for all my softball athletes, and I wish it was that easy. However, as I mentioned before, confidence is created by strength and conditioning in their softball game. So in having those conversations with parents, I feel the need to provide them with tools to help develop that confidence within their child.
Here are a few things to consider when assessing your child’s confidence on and off the softball field:
In reflecting on these questions, I want you to also ask yourself the same questions and apply them to yourself.
The reason it is important for individual softball players to reflect is because we are what we surround ourselves with. So, whether we like it or not, our kids pick up a lot of the things we demonstrate to them. If we are coming home with the day’s weight on our shoulders, your kids will start matching that behavior subconsciously, when they come home from their long days.
After reflecting on their environment at home and on the softball field, and our own, here are 5 strategies that you can implement to help your child build that confidence from within:
Every morning when brushing their teeth, they share 5 things they love about themselves. This is a hard one at first but once it becomes a habit it is SO TRANSFORMATIVE. Simply by starting our day off with this positive self-talk, it sets an armor of strength as your kid embarks on the day’s curveballs.
Maybe it is their eyes to help them see their loved ones, or their sense of humor to make their friends laugh, or their strength to overcome the mental game of softball on and off the field.
When your child is done with a performance or softball game (school, athletic, recreational) do they focus on measuring their attitude and effort ONLY?
When around their friend group, in class, on the field/court, do they hold themselves with strong posture (shoulders back, head high) or do they have a weak posture (collapses shoulders, and head down, dragging feet). When their physiology is strong (standing up straight, head high, open chest) they release their body’s dominant hormone, testosterone, that radically changes their thoughts and how they perceive the things around them.
Confidence is aligned with our past. Make sure you and your kid remember and talk about those times where they succeeded. Keepsake those big moments, whether it is that grade of that challenging test, or that most improved trophy, or that game winning pitch. Those momentous moments are so important to have on a highlight reel to constantly replay when they might be feeling nervous about a new task they are embarking on.
Visualization is forecasting a play by play of an upcoming situation, right down to how the grass feels below the feet, to the pencil in our hand while taking that big exam, or how it will feel winning the game. Practice visualizing all the time with your kid! This is a great way to up their mental game on and off the field.
Developing confidence in your softball game is a process that takes time and consistency; as well as a healthy environment that will help it grow. Will there be setbacks and hiccups? Most definitely, that is life. It is essential for your kid to experience the highs and the lows and all that is in between in life’s journey. That is where they prove to themselves that they can rebound after a setback. Helping them build their confidence is not boosting your child beyond reality. It is helping them establish strong self-talk and a solid routine that aligns with their results. Remember confidence comes from within, your kid must develop it themselves. Here’s to constantly growing our self-confidence on and off the field and gaining mental toughness during your next softball game as well planting seeds of it everywhere we go.
Your Mindset Softball Coach,