Susan in Dallas emailed me looking for advice on [tag]coaching youth softball[/tag]. Here’s a suggestion for motivating your team sent in by Melinda.
This was something I did mid-season, when I noticed my [tag]softball[/tag] players were not really “into” practice anymore. I took clothespins and hung up treat bags on the fence with each players name on it. Once we hung up goofy colored socks. And every time a player made a good throw, catch, hit, etc. I would call out their name and what they did and a team mother would put a piece of candy in their bag. It really put some spunk and excitement back into our [tag]practice[/tag] because they really had to think about making good plays just like in the game. Also, when we were having batting practice if a the batter hit a ball and a fielder missed it, the fielder had a piece of candy taken out of their bag and put into the batters bag. Boy, was that fun!
Competition got pretty intense and you should have seen those fielders diving on the balls. We generally had treats the practice before games but they seemed to understand that to be their best for that practice they had to work equally as hard at every practice.
After that the girls were excited about practice and I was able to get them to practice with an intensity and concentration that I was really only seeing in the games. It doesn’t seem like much but it works on 8 year olds!!