5 Ways Softball Coaches Can Improve Their Communication

Talk Less and Show More

To understand this better consider the following point:

  • 83 percent of what you learn in your life you learn from what you see
  • 11 percent of what you learn in your life you learn from what you hear

That is a powerful statistic and while it won't apply to every player on your team, it will be true for most of them. Some people learn from things they hear, but for the most part, the majority of people learn from the things they see.

Why is this so important? Because if you are trying to teach a group of kids how to play softball you need to let them see what you are talking about—not just hear it. Be aware of this when you practice with your team. Spend as little time as possible talking.

More: How to Fill Your Players' Emotional Tanks

You will have to talk some in order to explain a drill or a skill but do not explain things into the ground. Hit the highlights and then let the kids try it. You will find out right away whether you did a good job explaining. Or whether the players did a good job listening.

If you can properly demonstrate the skills of softball then do so. If not, find someone who can. This could be a player on an older team, a parent, or even one of your own players. If your players see someone perform the skills correctly this will help them learn quicker and with less chance for error.

More: How to Teach Defensive Fundamentals

Know What Your Body is Saying

You cannot fool kids. Our advice is to not even try. Therefore, your body language must be as positive as the words that leave your mouth. If not, they will know that what they are hearing is not what you mean.

For example, if you put your hands on your hips and stand there with a stern expression on your face after a player strikes out, if you say "that's OK, you'll get them next time," the player will know that's not what you mean.

She is probably thinking how angry you are, and how you do not have any confidence in her. Knowing what your body is saying may require extra effort on your part. Yet, if your team believes in what you say, and how you present it, they will respect you—and respond to you.

More: How to Run the Perfect Practice

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About the Author


The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, and is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States.

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