Pressure turns coal into diamonds and often turns our good players into mush.
Uncover 3 ways some top players have helped themselves stay focused under pressure.
There’s no doubt that playing good is one thing, but playing good under pressure is totally different. Pressure has been proven to limit things like our hearing, judgment, and sight, and eventually, will even kill us. So there’s no doubt that we’d all like to find ways to help our players keep their focus under pressure so they can remember the things that help their performance instead of getting mad about the things that don’t.
The longer I’m in this game the more I realize that players can teach me as much as I can teach them. With that said, here are 3 great things I’ve seen players do to help them handle the pressure of playing top level softball as well as to help them keep their passion and fire!
The Ball – As silly as this one might seem, this is an actual ball that an outstanding pitcher uses when she warms up. She’s had it since she was in Little League and she’s kept it in her glove as her warm up ball because it helps her relax, and always makes her smile. She’s found that being relaxed and smiling are especially important when she’s warming up since it sets the tone for the game.
The Wrist Band – Here’s a wrist band that a Division I pitcher put together to help her focus on the keys that are crucial for her to throw her pitches. Not all levels are allowed to wear wrist bands during competition but if you are, this might be just what your player needs to stay focused and on-task.
The Glove – This glove belongs to lefty hurler and 2008 national champion from Arizona State, Katie Burkart. She wrote things on her glove that she’d see on the mound and that helped remind her to compete, battle and never give up! Having your players write their own personal messages on their gloves is a great way to help them keep their focus under control by keeping key reminders right in front of them.
To discover more ways to help your players stay competitive, keep their focus and work together check out our book, A Coach’s Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching the Female Athlete