Why this may be the most important message you’ve ever read…
Can mental toughness be taught?
You want to know what I think?
But you know what…
It starts with parents and coaches like us, we’ve got to hold our kids accountable inside every single activity!
We can’t let them off the hook and point the finger at the umpire, coach or teacher and when that “poor me” body language pops up…
If not, it’s bound to happen again!
Body language is powerful!
In fact, your character and image is often decided before you ever say a single word!
It’s how you walk into the room…
It’s gauged on eye contact…
Reactions to events both good and bad!
There’s nothing, and I mean nothing worse than watching a player on the baseball field walking around with slumped shoulders, pointing the finger at his teammates and even worse…acting like the umpire screwed him over on every call!
Want to get written off by coaches and scouts?
Show negative body language!
I don’t care how good you are, how much time you spend in the cage because it DON’T matter if you’re reaction gives the impression of being soft, being a “finger pointer” or heaven forbid…
”The umpire just don’t like me, he’s giving that other pitcher every call!”
Do you really think the umpire is out to get you?
Guys like that kill me!
They’re also the guys that get hosed by the teachers when their grades suck too, right?
Here’s what I use to preach to my pitching staff…
“BODY LANGUAGE is a choice! It defines character and legacy, has the power to shift momentum and could be the difference in success or failure. Own it!! Or it will OWN YOU for the rest of your life!”
But how do we fix this problem?
It starts by a firm kick in the bottom!
I hate to say this……No, I don’t!
Most of the time, kids that act like this are acting out what they see and hear at home and on the field!
It starts when mom and dad make excuses for them…
Don’t hold them accountable….
Blame everyone else around them for anything and everything…
“Because it’s not their son’s fault!”
But it’s time that changed!
If not, you’re bound to have a Basement Boomer on your hands, yelling from the basement at 35 years old…complaining how Mom over-cooked the meatloaf or failed to get Fruity Pebbles after he clearly reminded her twice!
Let’s just say you’re Golden Years won’t be the picture you painted in your mind!
The same can be said for coaches!
Whenever you allow this to happen or act like an idiot yelling out and arguing over every single call because the 15 year old freckled umpire clearly missed strike 3…
You’re to blame too!
Let’s just don’t put this off on Mom and Dad…in fact, I think it should be mandatory you attend Meat-loaf night!
So, how do we fix the problem?
We’ve talked about the outside influences, what about the inside influences?
What about demanding you’re pitchers have a focus on every single throw…
Make every single throw count and help them to understand the reason they struggle in games has nothing to do with the umpire’s hand being greased by the local bookie, just out to get them!
It’s because they aren’t prepared to compete!
Because at the end of the day, your results on the mound are a direct reflection of what you’re doing off the mound!
Why do you lift weights, long toss, work on mechanics and throw bullpens?
It’s to train your body, right?
Well, why not train your mind!
If you agree with that, here’s what I recommend you do to end the body language and next generation of Basement Boomers!
Yeah, that’s right!
Quit telling them HOW TO do something!
Force them to THINK on THEIR OWN!
Encourage them to explain HOW THEY DO IT!
Do that and here’s what you will find…
Pitchers will be forced to figure out, held responsible for every throw…
Will learn how to make adjustments when game time comes…
And best of all- feel good that you actually care what YOU THINK, that they matter enough for you to ask them questions!
At the end of the day, here’s the truth…
“Kids and players don’t don’t respect you for what you say or do, they don’t…kids and players respect you because you make them feel good about themselves!”
But…on the other end of the spectrum, the reason so many kids struggle is because…
We baby them
Do it for them
And make it impossible for them to feel good about themselves because we don’t hold them accountable!
I learned this the hard way but luckily for me, I LEARNED IT!
Don’t wait until it’s too late…
To your continued development,