9 YO, switching from practice to game advice


#1

I need help with advice for getting my son relaxed and ready for the games we are getting ready to play in. We have been practicing since December working on mechanics and conditioning. He does great in practices and his mechanics are looking really good, but seems to be having some trouble transitioning from practice to games. He doesn’t play bad, just looks uncomfortable. Any suggestions on keeping him relaxed or triggers to transfer practices to the games? Thanks!!


#2

Let me tell you about something the great closer Mariano Rivera used to do—and this holds true for any and all positions. When Mo was warming up he took a couple of minutes to get himself into what he called “the eye of the tiger”—a quiet and very intense focus, in which nothing existed for him except how he was going to get the batters out. A sort of tunnel vision, if you will. When he came into the game he took that focus, along with his murderous bat-breaking cut fastball, with him, and he kept it with him all the way. Your 9-year-old son can easily learn to do this; I did it when I had to take the mound in relief in the late innings to hold a one-run lead. It really is all about focus. :slight_smile: 8)


#3

Here’s what I have done, and do, with my kids - 9, 11, 13. No matter what happens out there - if you go 0-5 with five strikeouts or give up 8 runs without getting an out or get just a pinch hit at-bat, I really enjoy watching you play and am proud you’re part of the team.

When they succeed by overcoming adversity - holding it together through a blown “save”, I let them know the best part of the game to me was seeing how well they handled that

For the kids I coach, I let them know it is part of baseball and I know they will do it next time. “But Coach I can’t.” “Yet”, I add.


#4

[quote=“ephinz1”]Here’s what I have done, and do, with my kids - 9, 11, 13. No matter what happens out there - if you go 0-5 with five strikeouts or give up 8 runs without getting an out or get just a pinch hit at-bat, I really enjoy watching you play and am proud you’re part of the team.

When they succeed by overcoming adversity - holding it together through a blown “save”, I let them know the best part of the game to me was seeing how well they handled that

For the kids I coach, I let them know it is part of baseball and I know they will do it next time. “But Coach I can’t.” “Yet”, I add.[/quote]

Ditto! Took me until my son was 12 years old to figure this out. Never realized how much pressure I put on him by my after game critiques. Had a talk with him one night & told him I would sit quietly during the game & wait afterwards before talking. Found positives about his performances & no matter how bad a day he had didn’t make a big deal out of it. When he finally got used to the idea he didn’t have to face an over critical dad after the game it was amazing how much more relaxed he played. The only exception to the rule is effort. If he didn’t play hard I called him out afterwards (but still shut up during games) away from the field.