Your Focus May Be Out Of Focus

How do you instill self-confidence in young pitchers? This is a great topic suggested by one of our Certified Instructors. Actually, the question should be, “How do we install confidence in young musicians, dancers, soccer players, or math students?”

Let’s get started.

My wife gets all of the credit for instilling confidence. She made our daughters feel valued, safe, unconditionally loved, and she paid attention to the smallest details in their lives. We were so fortunate to have incredible support at church which provided strength that kids can draw from spiritual things. We did everything possible to provide them a stable home and to help them deal with insecurities, to believe they were destined for great things, and we believed in them with every fiber of our being because we knew that they could read our expressions and actions. With all of that, they each needed a little something more.

In very different ways, softball pitching provided that outlet. It gave them the chance to apply the principles we were teaching in an everyday situation. Each of our daughters actually chose the game and we stayed distant at first, making sure this was a passion that each one actually wanted. We provided the tools, transportation, and we were available if they wanted to practice or discover other ideas to enhance their game. We always assured them that they could give up the game at any time for any reason and we would support their new interest. (Which one of them did for a long time before coming back to the game with a passion that completely surprised us).
As each grew in her own way, we saw the game provide challenges, we watched each work through those things, and were excited at the ways each one emerged on the other side. We were there to support in any way, but it was up to them to:

1-Work through challenges with whatever help they requested from us.

2-Learn to deal with frustrations in healthy fashion.

3-Set their own goals, adjust them as they matured, and come to us for advice on ways to make these happen.

4-Make the kinds of friends and discover role models that would be uplifting.

The game was only one more way to learn and practice life lessons, and when it was over we were so thankful for the mature and responsible adults that each had become. The game is a game and no player can bring anything out of it that they do not bring into it.
Equip her to live, laugh, love, learn, process, build relationships, and dream big. Give her solid foundations, security, boundaries, and unconditional love so that she is quite comfortable with who she is.

Realize that you will always fall short but, if you keep working at “your game”, it will inspire her to work on her game, whether it is chess, music, or even softball. Instill confidence in the young person first, provide her with the tools and opportunities she needs to chase her dreams, and let her choose the path she wants. Taking that kind of confidence into any activity makes it a lot easier to create momentum that applies in many areas of her life.

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