The Roots to Helping our Kids Ignite their Confidence

January 16, 2023

How to build your softball player’s confidence. 

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. 

How to help your softball player become a confident athlete.

Here are a few things to consider when assessing your child’s confidence on and off the softball field:

  • What does your child’s environment at home / on the softball field look like? Are the people surrounding them positive, negative, courageous, fearful, leaders or followers?
  • When your child is done with the school day or game day, what measurables do they focus on? Grades, relationships, approval from audience, how well they played?
  • What do your child’s habits reflect? Are they dedicated to achievement, or easily taken away from their goals by distractions?

In reflecting on these questions, I want you to also ask yourself the same questions and apply them to yourself. 

  • Are you positive or negative? What type of environment are you creating at home or school? Is it positive or negative based?
  • Are you measuring life based on results? Are you looking for that home run or the perfect pitch that you have been working on all season? Do you measure your life based on results? 
  • Are your habits aligning with your softball goals? Are you focusing on your pitching skills or your mental toughness or hitting that home run you have been dreaming of? Whatever it is, are your habits reflecting the time and effort you have been putting in? 

Tips to help with the mental toughness of your softball game

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: 

1. Practice a positive self-talk routine: 

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.  

2. Are they focused on their attitude or efforts?

When your child is done with a performance or softball game (school, athletic, recreational) do they focus on measuring their attitude and effort ONLY? 

  • Was your child a good classmate/teammate today?
  • Did your child help someone today on or off the field? 
  • Did your child try your best during the game? If not, what more do you think they could have done to bring their best?

3. Notice your child’s posture. 

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.

4. Create a highlight reel! 

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. 

  • Let their daily habits find a spot on that highlight reel too! You will find if they commit to their goals, and dedicate time to achieving those goals every day, those repetitive actions will prove to themselves that they are capable of achievement. With repetition you will see advancement, with that advancement, confidence is developed. 

5. Practice Visualization

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.

  • When you can put yourself in a situation using vivid imagery, you are tricking your mind into believing that you are there. If you can experience that upcoming event repeatedly, once you get there, that confidence will shine. Because you have already been there, you know exactly what to do. You are eliminating the unexpected, that sometimes can take that confidence away from us. 

How to develop your child’s softball mental toughness

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,
Coach D

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