Do you want to be the type of player coaches want on their team? Coaches want more than just physical skill; they want personalities conducive to a team environment.
Below are five attitudes to avoid during your softball career. If you notice you're guilty of any of them, now is the time to make adjustments so you can make a more positive impact on your team and your coach.
The "I can't" attitude gets old very fast. If you insist that you "can't" do something, why should your coach keep you on the team? Keep in mind the body does what the mind tells it to. So if you say to yourself, "I can't do this," how is your body ever going to follow through on the things you want it to?
I am baffled by how often players say, "I forgot my shoes" or "I forgot my socks." Be responsible. You know when practices and games are scheduled. It's not as if these events are sprung on you at the last minute. Be prepared.
Don't just rely on your parents to make sure you have everything you need. This is not their team, this is not their practice and this is not their softball season. It's yours. Even my 5 year old daughter ensures her softball gear is ready day in and day out. You can do it too.
Too Much Talk
When your coach is talking, your focus needs to be on your coach. It is very rude and disrespectful -- not only to your coach, but to your entire team -- if you talk while your coach is talking. You may be wondering why the coach repeats the same thing over and over, but if you're paying attention and the coach knows his/her message is getting through, then they may not need to go over things again and again.
Get the job done and don't let excuses get in the way. The other team is playing on the same field as you, with the same umpires and under the same weather conditions. Don't blame these things for your bad performance.
Instead of making excuses, focus all of your effort and energy on playing your best --despite the conditions. It's tough to get the job done anyway, so don't waste any of your energy or focus on grumbling, when you need all your energy to make the plays that need to be made.
"Why is She Playing?"
You may not always agree with your coach's decisions, but questioning his or her choices in front of your teammates does NOT help the team. Asking why a certain player is playing does not show confidence in their ability and does not help team unity. It's important that everything you say and do helps every player on the team do their best.
Remember, softball is a team sport. With every action, you're either helping your team get closer to its goals or keeping it further away from its objective. If you have serious questions about your coach's decisions, you need to set up a time to talk to your coach individually.
Coaches like team players with positive attitudes. Do a self check and notice if you hear yourself saying any of the things mentioned above. If so, see how you can change and become a player coaches love to have on their team.
Stacie Mahoe is the owner of AllAboutFastpitch.com and host of FastpitchTalkRadio.com. She currently serves as a high school fastpitch coach and 10U coach in Hawaii, as well as a parent of three young softball players.
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