The physical aspects of baseball are important, but nothing can make you a high level player quicker than a solid mental approach. In this article I am going to give an intro as to what we at CSB™ believe to be the correct way to approach the game mentally. Mental toughness in baseball is what separates players beginning at a young age. Having a mental routine that you go through every day will boost your performance on the field. Many players push the idea of the mental game of baseball aside, which in turn will limit their progression.
Core Savvy Baseball™ Intro to Mental Progression:
1. Control Your Focus :
The biggest part of being a successful baseball player is the ability to stay focused on the task at hand. The best way to do that is to focus on one pitch at a time. By breaking down the game pitch by pitch, our mind will remain in the present moment and extremely focused. Staying sharp throughout the course of the game can mean a win or loss for the team. We need to always remember that we have an obligation to our teammates to stay focused. The game is always bigger than just you.
2. Be Patient :
Baseball by nature is a leisurely-paced game. We need to remember that we can't hit a 5-run home run. Everything is not going to happen at once so we must remain patient and poised throughout the game. It is very important to understand that sometimes we need to tone down our emotions or aggression on the diamond. A great way to do relax our minds is to practice breathing techniques. Breathing is one of the few natural ways to relax our body and mind. Taking a deep breath before each pitch of an at bat will sharpen our focus by lowering our heart rate.
"Our Patience will achieve more than our force" - Edmund Burke
3. Confidence Through Visualization :
There is no better way to gain confidence as a baseball player than through visualization. Your mind does not know the difference between you visualizing yourself hitting a home-run and you actually doing it. This means that if we take just five minutes out of our day to visualize ourselves succeeding, we are actually doing it. "Mental Repetitions" are what some coaches like to call them. You can visualize yourself hitting a walk off or pitching a perfect game. This is the key to unlocking our true potential. Solid visualization will result in a boost of confidence. At CSB™ we call this technique using the law of attraction.
"We are like magnets. You become AND attract what you think" - Rhonda Byrne
I highly recommend this book to any player who wishes to play beyond little league. In my professional opinion, it is the most comprehensive book ever written on the mental aspects of any sport, let alone baseball. Reading this book front to back a couple of times will instantly make you a better baseball player. All of our students at Core Savvy Baseball™ are required to read parts of the Mental Game of Baseball each week.
Core Savvy Baseball Mental Pillars to Success
1. We do not judge ourselves on wins and losses. Baseball is a team sport and we cannot control what our teammates do.
2. Control what you can control. You cannot control who you play, the weather, pitch location or who will be umping. Stay mentally tuned in to what you can control (pitch selection for example).
3. Do not expect to be perfect. You will make errors and strikeout, sorry to break it to you. It is what we do right after an error that defines our character. Do we crumble? Or pick ourselves up and get ready for the next pitch?
4. Always remember you are not just a ball player. You are a son, grandson, friend and a leader. Playing ball is just one thing that you do well as a human being. Nothing that happens between the lines should ever make you forget your values.
5. Baseball is like life. Stuff happens. Always remember that no matter what happens during the course of a game, it is just that, a game. Keeping our perspective is a great way to stay mentally acute in baseball and more importantly in our daily lives.
**We will break down the next part of the CSB™ mental Progression in later articles so stay tuned.**