Motivation: Inspire Fight

Motivation: Inspire Fight

“Motivation: Inspire Fight” Written By Charity Butler

When players become distracted or lazy, fire them up! Let them have it. Hitting expert, Rob Crews, says never: “put a smiley face on mediocrity.”
To effectively motivate players, though, approach discipline wisely. Rather than settling for insincerely compliant players who simply fear you, find a way to motivate girls to fight from the depths of themselves.

Genuine motivation is inspired by more than consequences. It challenges players in their hearts. Motivation elicits the untapped courage that many players do not even realize exists within them.

According to hitting guru Rob Crews, “Real power-hitting is rooted in the power of a thought. Winning thoughts. Confident thoughts. Overcoming thoughts. Thoughts of resilience. Some people aren't even capable of having such thoughts. People fake thoughts that don't match what is truly in their heart. Therefore, changing the heart changes the thought processes, which has an authentic effect on intent and response. For example, positive thinking won't work if in your heart, you don't truly believe you will get it done.”

To deeply motivate players it is essential to connect with them as people, especially during disciplinary situations. Touching the heart and simultaneously demanding excellence is tremendously challenging. To accomplish such a lofty task requires understanding the fundamental difference between shame and guilt.

According to University of Houston research professor, Dr. Brene Brown, shame is a focus on self that screams, “I am bad.” Guilt, on the other hand, is a focus on behavior. “I did something bad.”

Shame: After a player has bobbled yet another ground ball to her backhand side in practice, “You are terrible!”

Guilt: “You are an incredible second baseman, so we have to figure out how to fix this backhand. Today it is terrible! There is always a physical reason, and we are going to find it.”

Guilt is uncomfortable, yet beneficial. Guilt does not sugarcoat, but it allows players to separate themselves as people from their actions as performers on the field.

Too often, athletes inextricably link self-worth to performance. If they play well, they feel valuable. They are on top of the world. Conversely, if they perform poorly they believe they are worthless.

Players shame themselves without even realizing it. Speaking from experience, this is an unhealthy perspective that does not encourage consistent success. Feelings of shame are highly correlated with addiction, depression, aggression, violence, suicide and bullying.

It is easy for others to say, “It is just a game,” but most of us know the agony of finding our worth in our ERA, batting average or win/lose record. With such high stakes attached to a player’s (or a coach’s) personal success, the ability to push the limits toward greatness is diminished.

If a fastpitch player believes she is only worth what she can do, then her value is tied to the ever-changing level of success she experiences in a game of failure. How miserable!

If, however, she is foundationally confident that she is worth more than her on-field accolades, she is much more likely to improve as an athlete and play well consistently.

Shame corrodes this capacity for improvement because growth inevitably requires a measure of failure.

Shame says, “You are not good enough and you never will be.” Shame is hopeless. Shame breeds fear, and fearful players will not consistently maximize performance.

Courage is required by those willing to live wholeheartedly. Those who refuse to retreat at the prospect of failure are fully alive. They are free to relentlessly play, perform, fail, recover and conquer.

According to Dr. Brown, “Vulnerability is not about winning, it’s not about losing. It is about having the courage to show up and be seen.” This courage generates its share of disappointment but also triggers success.

Give your players the courage to be seen, to be vulnerable, to play with reckless abandon, to go hard without fear of loss or failure. Discipline them, but always value them for who they are and not only what they can do.

The freedom this perspective creates is priceless. When a player feels valued, the motivation inspired in her will overflow from the heart! Relentless fight starts in the heart.

Be willing to extend this same grace to yourself. Value yourself as a human being, rather than a human doing. Let others see your heart.

Take courage. Be vulnerable. Show up. Be seen. Find freedom. Inspire fight.


Charity ButlerCharity Butler is respected nationally & internationally as a pro athlete, writer, speaker, collegiate coach, hitting instructor and Certified Intrinsic Life Coach®.Currently, as a Pro Speaker for Sports World, Inc, Charity travels the country speaking to more than 40,000 people annually. As a recognized expert in confidence training, she also presents at various conferences, colleges & universities.Charity is the founder of Exceed Sports, LLC, and of the I Heart Fastpitch Campaign Join Charity On: Twitter, and on Instagram

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