We all have habits. Some of them are good habits that lead to success while others are bad habits that hold us back. When it comes to improving your skills in fastpitch softball we’re all always fighting to break bad habits and replace them with good habits. We all know that breaking a bad habit isn’t an easy thing to do.
One of the reasons that breaking a habit is so difficult is that we often feel a real discomfort when we try to change how we do things. Our mind and body is so used to doing something one way that it is physically uncomfortable and mentally taxing to try to do it some other way. If breaking a habit was easy, then there would be a lot less unhealthy people because smoking and obesity would have disappeared years ago.
When a coach asks a player to try something new, they are asking a player, no matter how small the skill, to break an old habit and replace it with a new one. Good habits have to be taught, practiced and reinforced if we want them to take hold. If we work hard enough, the new habit will become comfortable and lead to more success.
There is an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where there is a devil on one of Bugs’ shoulders and an angel on the other. The devil is trying to tell Bugs that he should do the wrong thing. In teaching a player to change a habit, we have to always remember that she also has that imaginary devil whispering in her ear. We need to be the angel that is whispering a much louder message in the other ear. So loud, in fact, that she can’t even hear the devil anymore.
Never forget that bad habits are hard to defeat. Keep fighting!