We are always looking for ways to help our players become more confident. We are always trying to help them translate what they do so well in practice into on field/game day performance. We often see players who struggle with making this connection and as coaches this is a huge challenge.
One day I was trying to help a player see that she was really improving and that her improvement was going to lead to more success on the field. She was frustrated, I was frustrated and then the light bulb came on.
We started tracking her performance in lessons by keeping score. We worked in small sets of five swings each. She was going to score each swing in her head and I was going to do the same. After each set we would compare scores. Some sets would be 5 out of 5, others would be 1 out of 5, but no matter what the score we kept working.
As time went on, she started to see a trend. By keeping score she was more aware of the progress she was making. Rather than look back at a lesson and try to remember how she did, which was usually “pretty good”, she now knew exactly how she did.
When she thought her score was lower than she wanted, she was motivated to keep working to improve. When she had a score she was happy with then she could clearly see the improvement she had made. She liked knowing how she was doing so much that she now keeps score every time she hits, no matter what the setting!
Over time a player can clearly see that they are improving. By keeping score they stay motivated to keep working hard. If a player has a week where they know they were performing at a very high level in practice or lessons or training, then they carry that confidence into their next game or tournament.
How do we know we are improving? Keep score!