Coaching Softball – How to Teach the Game

Not long ago, I was observing a coach teach hitting.

It was obvious he knew something or two about softball hitting.

But he was really bad at teaching it. His players had a hard time applying what he was teaching.

Here’s what he was doing.

He kept telling his players about what they shouldn’t do rather that they should do.

Don’t hold the bat in your palms.

Don’t step too far.

Don’t lean over too much.

Don’t over-rotate.

Don’t extend your arms too early.

You get the picture.

Most people (even his own players) would probably not realize how bad this approach his but it really is.

You see, you brain is like a computer. Whatever you tell him – it’s gonna execute like a command.

Let me give you an example.

Don’t think of the color red. I mean it – Don’t think about RED!

What are you thinking about? The color blue? No – you’re thinking of the color red.

The “red” is a cue (or like a commmand to your brain), as soon as you read this word, you imagine that color. We are visual people and put words into images in our head.

So, by telling his players what NOT to do, he is actually reinforcing what NOT to do. It becomes really confusing for the brain!!!

So, instead of teaching what they shouldn’t do, you need to teach what they should do.

Instead, he should have said things like..

Hold your bat in your fingers.

Do a short, straightforward and soft stride.


Or think about the color blue πŸ˜‰

This is a basic principle of effective sports pedagogy.

Leave a Comment