Let’s talk personalities. In its most simplistic form, I see four types of softball players—especially at the junior high and high school levels.
While there may be more player personality types, these are the few I’ve consistently encountered throughout my years of coaching.
1. Players that hope things happen (for the best), 2. Players that watch things happen, 3. Players that make things happen, and 4. Players that things happen to.
Players that hope things happen hold themselves back. They will sometimes take chances, but are more comfortable playing it safe.
Further, the player that hopes things happen is the type that might work better in an individual sport (ex. golf, tennis, etc.).
She needs to understand her role as an athlete, and will need reassurance when she is demonstrating the aggressive player she is asked to be. Even though it’s not natural to her, with work and commitment, she can improve.
The player that watches things happen has a hard time reaching beyond her comfort zone, and will resist being aggressive.
She needs an environment where she is free to learn, stumble, and grow. Too much pressure in the beginning will shut her down. Patience—patience—patience is key. She needs to feel safe and secure stretching beyond her comfort zone.
Players that make things happen chase the action; they go after the play—stretching themselves. They are almost without limit.
The player that things happen to is the one who stretches beyond her comfort zone, but is forced to do so. The play forces her to do this.
The player that things happen to is almost like the player that makes things happen, but a little less confident and a little less aggressive.
Both of these players need lots of technical instructions along with a lot of challenging drills. Plus, both of these players can become bored, or a problem, if they are not prodded often.
They also seek praise and recognition in a group setting. The spotlight is not too bright for them, and action is their thrill.