The Mental Game

July 2, 2010

Once you obtain your high level of skill and your ability to perform is the best at your level, the game of baseball then becomes 90% mental. I can’t even count how many times I have seen great players go through big slumps. Every baseball player out there goes into a slump, it’s just a matter of how well and how fast you come out of it. Sometimes your mind can be focused on other issues, which distracts you from your game. It could be a girlfriend, it could be another family issue or it could just be frustration from not performing at your best. You can’t let these issues rip apart your mind and bring you down. When you step on that diamond, there is nothing else there, just you and the game. You have to put yourself into another world. The fans aren’t there, your parents aren’t there, your girlfriend isn’t there, its just you and baseball. You are there to take care of business.

Getting out of a slump:
In order to be real successful at baseball, you need to have confidence. If you don’t believe you can hit, then you won’t hit. The goal is to believe you are the best player in the world, there is no one better than you. YOU ARE THE MAN. Get a little cocky if you have to but just make sure your nice and sweet off the field. Concentration is also important. If you don’t swing at strikes, your chances are limited with hitting the ball hard. In addition to that, if your not relaxed and loose you will also struggle. It is key to prevent yourself from getting nervous. Remind yourself it is just a game and enjoy it.
As a hitter, when you step into that box you need to have it in your mind that your the best baseball player on that field and everyone there is scared of you. Sometimes the player will still think he is the best there but deep down in his gut he has doubt and fear. “Don’t strike out” or “Don’t get out” are the two phrases sitting there and keeping you from excelling. Those are two of the worst things you can think. Another one is “Just make contact.” If you are thinking any of those phrases, you will not play to your ability. You need to get angry but not tense. Put this phrase in your head, “I’m going to hit a line drive off the pitcher’s face.” If you have that stamped in your brain, then you will have a much better chance of coming out of your slump.

Another thing you obviously need to do is check on your mechanics and make sure your eye hand coordination is up to snuff. Get some extra batting practice, during this time, film yourself from the side. Watch for important flaws, such as your head, feet and hands. Then go and watch it and see if you see anything going wrong. Many players go into slumps without there even being any physical error. It is just mental.

Key Point:

Baseball is the only sport you can do everything perfect and fail and it is the only sport where you can do everything wrong and succeed. So accept the success and accept the failure.