Does Your Athlete Have a Plan?

Whether in school, softball or life it is important to have a plan of action if you are to reach whatever goals or objectives you set. Does your athlete have such a plan? Fastpitch softball can be a brutal and unforgiving game if she does not.

Having a plan should include both a physical and mental game plan to best achieve her goals. From the physical stand point she needs to have a plan for the following:

  • As a fielder anticipate where to go with the ball if it is hit to her
  • Know where the runners are at all times
  • Know the count on the batter at all times
  • Know how many outs and the score of the game at all times
  • Anticipate how to play a ball based on the speed, spin and angle.
  • As a hitter be looking for a particular pitch location or pitch type
  • Assess how the defense plays you and recognize any weaknesses they may have
  • Assess the umpire's strike zone and adjust your hitting plan accordingly
  • As a pitcher also know the strike zone and plan your pitches accordingly
  • Pay attention to each hitter to determine her weakness (certain pitch or location)
  • Know which pitch you are throwing the best and tell your coach
Here are some of the elements of a proper mental game plan:

  • Have a solid "pre-game" mental routine to stay relaxed and focused on the task at hand
  • Utilize positive "trigger" statements to prepare yourself for game success
  • During "pre-game" see your success, particularly as a pitcher
  • During the game have a plan in your head as you approach the on deck circle with only positive "can do" thoughts
  • Be observant on the bench and see what and where the pitcher is throwing, particularly by count
  • While on deck focus on your breathing so that you are relaxed and focused by the time you step into the batter's box
  • After an error in the field or poor at bat it is crucial that your plan include learning from the mistake rather than dwelling on it
  • After the game assess your performance by your standards, not those of your parents or coaches. Make a plan of what you need to work on in practice to get better.

As a player you can approach your game by design or by default. All elite athletes have a plan with which they execute with precision and passion. Have your athlete write down in her softball journal how she will execute her physical and mental game plans before, during and after her next game. If her goal is to become a consistent, peak performer she will need  an excellent game plan.

To learn more about how your athlete can be the best she can be visit us at Winner's Edge Softball or Softball Smarts. Sign up for your FREE weekly Softball Smarts Tips on how to recognize then master the 21 Mental Performance Killers that sabotage your athlete's success.

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