Hitting is a pretty difficult skill to master. Many of the kids I get to work with are highly motivated and want to work really hard to become the best hitter they can. Some are a little less motivated and have peaks and valleys in their effort.
Working with all kids is something that I really enjoy, but there is one thing that everyone needs to come to grips with.
No matter whether a player falls into the gun-ho group or not, one thing is inescapable. All hitters will experience peaks and valleys in their growth as a player. We would love to think that every player will make steady progress, but that might not be a realistic way to see things.
Every player will have stretches where they feel like every day they are better than the day before. Where every swing feels like a thing of beauty and they know they are better today than they were yesterday. They will also have days where things that seemed so easy yesterday now seem like something they have never even tried before. Like their swing is almost like a foreign language that they have never spoken before.
Where we get into trouble, and for some players real trouble, is thinking that once you get to a certain level of success that the next level will just naturally happen. Almost hoping that this amazingly difficult skill will somehow become a simple thing that just happens.
Now this trap isn’t just for players but also for parents. Learning to become the best hitter you can be is loaded with many variables and, even more, obstacles that can not be avoided. I have experienced working with a couple parents and players where a player has made really nice progress, but for whatever reason, they still experience some tough days. Unfortunately, hearing that this is a part of the learning experience has not been what that parent wanted to hear.
Message to all softball parents:
Getting angry, or questioning the efforts of your kid’s coaches every time they make and out or have a bad day or struggle with something at the ballpark is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
No coach or instructor can guarantee success. All we can do is work really hard to help your kid become the best version of herself she can become. And that process includes both highs and lows. There’s no way to avoid that! Asking your daughter’s coaches if you should try a new coach or a new team — especially in front of your kid — is just a little bit crazy.
It’s totally crazy to expect your kid to be a great hitter if they only spend one lesson a week or one practice a week working on their hitting.
If your daughter’s coach doesn’t work hard or doesn’t seem to care, then you have a good reason to be concerned. But remember, you can lead a horse to water, but you can not make it drink!