National Tournaments are around the corner so here are 3 tips to help your team play its best.
It’s a little late to start teaching, but not too late for these 3 tips.
Playing in a national tournament is exciting, and pressure-packed. By the time you reach the nationals, it’s too late to start teaching details and it’s always too late to start over-coaching! Fortunately, it’s not too late to help your players play their best.
So, here are 3 ways to help your team do just that – play their best in your upcoming national tournament:
- Focus on Belief – Trying to cram in extra practice sessions, or lessons or any extra skill-developing session might be our knee-jerk coaching reaction to reaching a national tournament, but it isn’t going to help your team. It’s too late to develop skills by the time you’re ready to go to nationals, but it’s not too late to focus on increasing your players confidence. Spend your pre-tournament preparations reminding your players how good they must be in order to be playing in a national tournament. Ask them to write down all the things they do really well – they don’t have to show these to anybody, but they do need to remember that they have good skills! It’s normal to be nervous, but it’s helpful to believe! Confidence is just another word for belief so spend your preparation time reminding your players how much talent they have, and to believe in that talent!
- Remember Your Skill – Nerves can make us do funny things, and one of the common side effects of getting nervous is to create doubt. Help your players play their best by reminding them how good they are by taking each player off to the side and reminding them individually what they do really well, how glad you are that they’re on your team and how much their skill will help the team during nationals. Tell your players that they are softball super-heroes, and their skill is their super-power – use those super-powers to fight to the very last out!!
- It’s Just Another Softball Game – And while the banners might be bigger, and the whole environment much crazier, a national championship is nothing more than another softball game. It’s unrealistic to think your players won’t notice all the extra stuff that happens at a nationals, but that stuff happens outside the field of play. What happens on the softball field is the same thing your team has been doing all summer long. Remind your team that a national championship is just another softball game – and they’ve played enough games all summer to be ready for these! (NOTE: It might be helpful for you to remember that as well since coaches get nervous, and our nerves definitely influence our team!)
Good luck to all the teams playing in national championships. May you all play your best, stay healthy and fight to the very last out!
For more help with your national championships, check out our team packages: