You can’t help yourself, I know. I have done the same thing, too many times to count. Whether it’s your child or one of the kids on your team, it doesn’t matter. It’s the coach inside of all of us, right?
So you pull into the driveway and you see your kid out in the garage working on her swing, or you are heading out to the field for practice and you see one of your kids hitting into the net by herself. It’s like a magnet, right? You are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. You can’t help yourself, you walk over and get involved.
It what you’re supposed to do, right? Maybe. Or MAYBE NOT!!
If your kid, or player, is out there hitting on her own, she is doing it on her own terms. Something has motivated her to get in some swings. It might be because she wants to work on something that is troubling her. Or she might be frustrated by something and hitting a ball is a nice release. Or she might just want to hit today because, guess what, hitting is fun!
No matter what has motivated her to go out and hit on her own the most important part of that statement is, ON HER OWN.
Now I know you want to help. I know you are afraid that if you let her work on her own that she will do something wrong. I know it is fun for you to help her, especially when she is clearly interested in getting in some swings. But…
We need to understand that when we interject ourselves into these situations we are totally changing the environment. We are taking something that was her idea and something she had control of and turning it into just another practice. Something that might not have motivated her to get out and hit that day.
Is it possible that if you leave her to her own devices that she might create a bad habit? It is, but I would argue that it is much more likely that she will learn something that she would never learn from us. She will learn how to help herself. She will learn how to correct her own mistakes. She will gain confidence in her ability. And she will be reminded that hitting is just plain fun.
Give her some space to have some fun!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.