Coaches have the power to influence their players in ways that parents just can’t. I can’t tell you how many times parents tell me, “I tell her the same thing, but it means so much more coming from you.” That means coaches can help change the negative thinking patterns and habits a perfectionist pitcher/athlete is likely experiencing. Hopefully, Part I of this article will help you clearly identify your perfectionist pitcher/athlete on your team. Part II will give you a few helpful tips to encourage and coach this particular athlete.
One weekend, one practice, one game, will provide you with numerous teachable moments and opportunities to help a perfectionist pitcher. You might be the best person to talk to parents about changes they can make in the home to further challenge the negative mindset and tendencies for this particular player. As mentioned in Part I, pitchers, athletes, and non-athletes that severely struggle with perfectionism would most likely benefit from the help of a mental skills coach, and in some cases, an individual or family therapist. When done in a sensitive way, a coach’s suggestion to seek professional help can be the catalyst a family, parent or player needs to make real changes.