Context provides incentive in softball training

One of the interesting phenomena I have observed in my years of teaching lessons is how important context is in really understanding what you’re learning and putting it to use.

That’s kind of a long-winded way of saying it seems like students seem to “get” what we’re trying to do better after they’ve had a season of playing following an off-season of lessons.

You can try to put context around lessons all you want. I know I certainly do. But once students are in the game trying to execute against an opponent, I found most understand better the reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing, and why we’re focusing on certain aspects of their skills.

Take pitchers, for example. They can look like world-beaters in lessons or practice sessions. But once there’s something on the line, i.e. they’re facing live hitters, they seem to get why we focus so much on repeatable mechanics versus the immediate results.

That can be discouraging for some — they’ve worked hard all off-season, but then in the games they’re not see the payoff right away. But for most, it seems they remember us talking about certain things, they remember themselves not putting the effort into it, and they understand that was a mistake.

Has that been your experience? Has your daughter, your students or your players struggled to put lessons into practice the first year but then come back ready to learn more and at a fast pace?

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on September 25, 2011, in Coaching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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