Today we were working on a drill I like that's focused on backups. I have eight kids get on the bases with gloves. One on the base and one is the backup. I call a number of a base to throw to and the person with the ball throws to the base. As I guess a new number while the ball is in the air, the receiver catches it and knows where to throw next. The key is that the backups are to align themselves with the throw as it comes from any direction and they have to get the ball if it goes past the primary receiver. They were doing a great job and then one kid missed the backup and I went over and he said , “Coach I’m lousy at backups.” I can think of a time in the past when I would have said, “Nah, you aren’t lousy.” Instead now that I’ve read all sorts of coaching psychology books I went over to him and said “That is referred to as NEGATIVE SELF-TALK and it really doesn’t do much for anyone." Just think about it and start telling yourself that you can learn this as it's not rocket science. Not sure if I made a difference but it's interesting to really learn about het self-talk that goes on in the field. One time earlier in the season I told a player they were backing out of the box before I even threw them the ball and I said can you tell yourself to stand in there and hit it. And the kid hit the next pitch and I asked “What exactly did you tell yourself” and he said “Do not be afraid of the ball.” Sometimes I think improving self-talk is probably half the battle in coaching….