Parents, I know you get tired of me telling you the things you are doing wrong when it comes to your daughter’s softball future. I know you are only doing what you think is best for your kid and trying to give them the best opportunities you can. I get it, it isn’t easy being a parent in this day and age but that doesn’t allow you a “get out of jail free card” for all the things that happen.
Here are three things you must not do! Here are three things that are most likely to kiss of death for your players happy softball future. Here are three things that keep happening that we want you to avoid!
DO NOT impose your ambitions on your child. Your daughter is not your “second chance” to relive your own athletic career and quite often disappointments. It isn’t your chance to show your superior parenting abilities through the athletic performance of your kid. Your daughter wants to have fun, make friends and enjoy playing the game. If you make it about impressing you or pleasing you, we are already way off track.
DO NOT specialize too early. Let her play every sport she wants. Let her be involved in other activities. Encourage her to take time off to recover, both mentally and physically. Early specialization leads to burn out, injury, frustration and failed athletic careers.
DO NOT decide what your players chosen sport should be. Just because a young player shows a great aptitude for a sport doesn’t mean that it is the right sport for her to choose, or more importantly be chosen for her. If as parent you are thinking about words like scholarship, champion, Division I athlete or phenom with a kid that is under 12 years old you are heading down a dark path.
Players gain many things from playing fastpitch softball. Teamwork, hard work, integrity, fair play and fun are all great things to take away from the game. Just be sure we allow our kids to stay with the game long enough to learn all those lessons.