Ken Klemm Spring Hill, FL, USA
Hungry for the Ball
Nothing defeats a softball player more than lack of
confidence (a.k.a. Fear).
I see it on the ball field every day. Players whose
fear of making a mistake is so great, they avoid making
Perhaps they fear being criticized by a parent, coach
or teammate. You can see it in their eyes.
When a high fly ball comes their way, they allow it to
fall to the ground in front of them rather than
attempting to catch it with their glove.
When a pop fly is in the vicinity of 3 or 4 fielders,
each looks at the other hoping someone else will
attempt to catch it - no one does and the ball falls to
There are other players who, in the same situation,
will yell, “Mine, mine, mine!,” and attempt to catch
the ball. If they miss the catch, no smart person will
The good coach will say, “Just shake it off. Let it go.
You made a great attempt!”
Then there is the fielder who dives head first toward
the ball, tumbles over on the ground, and pops up with
her arm raised - the ball securely in her glove.
These last two are hungry for the ball! Their hunger to
get an out overrides their fear of messing up.
Whether a player has confidence or doubts her own
ability is evident in what she says to herself, if you
are careful to listen.
An inadequate coach will reinforce the doubt, whereas
the good coach will instill belief.
You friend and servant,
P.S. “An ounce of encouragement has more power than a
ton of criticism.”