How to Control Nerves by Improving Composure
Are there times where you’re more nervous or anxious than others?
Maybe you’re coming back from an injury or moving up a level. You might be stepping in to help out a team who is struggling. Or, you could finally be getting your opportunity to play.
Baseball players could be feeling a number of emotions in positions like these, along with other situations, such as a championship or world series kind of game.
You could be feeling:
- Pressure to perform
- Expectations from yourself and others
- Lack of trust
- Fragile confidence
Those are just a few challenges you may experience…
Tommy Milone pitched for the Washington Nationals on Thursday night against the Miami Marlins. The Nationals brought him up from Class AAA Syracuse to replace Strasburg.
Milone made his Major League debut with the Nationals in 2011 but got traded to the Oakland A’s the following season. He then got dropped and has recently been playing with Class AAA Syracuse.
Almost seven years later he got asked up by the Nationals to replace Strasburg in a pinch. Milone arrived in Miami around 1 a.m. on Thursday, for the Thursday night game.
Even though Milone had 126 career starts and 146 appearances overall under his Major League belt, the jitters and nerves came anyway.
The Marlins jumped on Milone early in the first inning to gain a 3-0 lead over the Nationals.
Milone could have easily fallen into a trap of disappointment and frustration, though he was able to gain his composure.
The Marlins didn’t score another run over the next four innings with Milone still on the mound, and the Nationals won 10-3 at Marlins Park.
“It was just the first inning coming out for the first time. It was kind of just a little bit of anxiousness I guess, nervous, whatever you want to call it. I settled down after that and felt pretty good.”
Pro baseball players get nervous and have jitters, just like Milone. It’s okay and completely natural.
The first inning may be a challenge, as it was with Milone. What’s most important though is your ability to let it go and gain your composure to continue.
In order to do this, you want to develop a strategy to let go of mistakes and play on with composure.
Take a few seconds to gather yourself, park your mistakes, and dial in on your very next task, or what is most important in that moment.
Milone’s first inning performance might have continued through the next four innings if he wasn’t able to let it go and continue to play in the present.
Mistakes, strikeouts, bad innings, they all happen in baseball, all the time.
You’re most successful when you are able to let go and play one pitch at a time.
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