Being a young softball player is tough. Coaching them can be even tougher – especially when it comes to their attention span. Discover a 2 step approach to help young players rope in their attention span.
If only your team could pay attention to what they’re doing as much as they pay attention to…well anything else, really. If this sounds familiar, then check out a simple 2-step solution.
Young kids actually have very good attention spans; they just don’t have very long ones. They pay attention to tons of things, which during a softball game, isn’t too helpful. So instead of thinking they need to learn how to pay attention, think in terms of what they need to pay attention to.
If you’re 8 or 10 or even 12 years old, there are lots of things that grab your attention during a softball game. There are the things you see; like the other team, people in the stands, your little brother out in the outfield, or all the people walking around the ballpark. There’s all the stuff you can smell at the concession stand and the things you can hear throughout the game. All of those sights, smells and sounds are pulling at your senses and fighting for your attention throughout the game – never mind you’re supposed to also pay attention to your skill, which might not amount to much since you’re so young.
Let’s help our young players learn that they actually pay excellent attention to things, they just need to let what they’re paying attention to help them do their skill better.
So here’s a quick 2-step method that will help your players take control of their attention span. It starts by letting them pay attention to whatever they want to, whenever the ball is not in play. But, when the ball’s in play, then teach your players to:
- Bring Your Mind Back to You – meaning, instead of thinking about how loud the other team’s cheers are, bring your mind back to thinking about you and the skill you’re about to do.
- Bring Your Eyes to Your Target – then use your powerful eyes to help your skill by putting your eyes on your target, instead of on the people walking by, or the birds flying overhead, or the batter or whatever little kids pay attention to. They can pay great attention and its part of our role as adults and coaches to help them learn how to use their attention to help their skills.
Short, simple and to the point – which is perfect for young kids because it’s easy for them to remember. Have them practice this 2-step technique before every play in practice and by game-time it will be a habit – just like watching the birds fly by.
For more help coaching your young team, check out our one-of-a-kind 7 Level Coaching Certification Program.