Let's face the facts...all the hitting and pitching lessons you can afford, and all the ground balls and batting cages swings in the world won't matter a lick if your athlete folds under the pressures of the game.
I have seem countless players look fantastic in practice only to come unraveled during pivotal moments on game day. Why is that? There are certainly a number of contributing factors, all found between the ears. However, in today's post, I want to focus on how your athlete's emotional state can and will destroy her game day performance. If you are a parent or a coach we all grapple with the weekly emotions of our teenage daughters/players, don't we? Teenage girls in general can be a handful, but add the stress, pressure and expectations of a softball diamond into the mix and these young ladies can quickly become their own worst enemies in a heartbeat!
The diagram below illustrates the impact your athlete's emotional state has on her performance. Your athlete has the choice of how she reacts to a "game event" by her "thoughts." Her thoughts (positive or negative) will trigger an emotional reaction. This emotional reaction will have a direct impact on the quality of her overall game day performance.
If the "chain reaction" of event / thoughts / emotions (feelings) is a positive and healthy one a domino effect of high performance will ensue. However if that "emotional" chain reaction is negative and limiting the domino effect can create a continual stream of poor performance during subsequent game events (or plays).