Special thanks to Gary for sending this one in. Here is a [tag]free softball coaching tip[/tag] that is invaluable in [tag]motivating[/tag] your youth team. You MUST try this out!
One of the biggest problems that I’ve had with my 9-10 year old [tag]softball[/tag] team is keeping their attention during [tag]practice[/tag] and in the games.
Three of my best solutions for this problem is the utilization of positive and negative reinforcements.
First, if a player makes an avoidable error during practice then I have the entire team run a lap on the field and I explain to them that we are a team; if one player does not have his head in the game, the whole team suffers.
Second, at the end of practice I award a “Team Captain” hat to the one player who puts forth the most effort during practice. This “Team Captain” hat is then worn by that player in the next game. At the end of the game, the hat is returned to me and the competition for the hat starts over again.
Third, at the end of each game I award a game ball that is signed by all of the [tag]coaches[/tag]. This game ball is awarded to the player that made the best plays or the player that showed the most [tag]team spirit[/tag].
All of my players really love the “Team Captain” hat and the game ball. I hope that these ideas help.