The Importance of The Mental Skill of Focusing
The brink of elimination from a tournament or playoff can create performance-distracting anxiety for some ball players.
Many thoughts can run through your head when the next game you play may be potentially the last game you play for the season… “If I would have caught that ball…,” “I always choke when the game is on the line,” “We will never be able to come back from this deficit,” or, “If we lose, our whole season will be a waste.”
You worked the entire season to get to where you are now and this one game can cause your seasonal goals to go unfulfilled.
All these thoughts detract from the only thing that matters: the next game.
Focusing on the present is a difficult task for many ball players when facing an elimination game…
But the best chance, actually the only chance you have to keep your hopes alive, is if you can let go of the past losses or the anxiety of potentially losing and focus on the game in front of you.
That is why focus is the most critical mental skill for any ball player.
Focus doesn’t guarantee victory but it gives you the best opportunity to win.
If you can learn to improve your focus, including your ability to quickly refocus when your attention drifts, your success rate will increase dramatically.
The Texas Rangers are on the brink of elimination from the MLB playoffs after losing 10-1 and 5-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays in their best of five AL Division Series.
Despite potential elimination, the Rangers have maintained a resolute focus along with a high level of confidence.
The Rangers have adopted a motto that has helped guide their focus throughout the year, “Win Today.”
The motto encourages the Rangers to focus on the present rather than reliving past games or worrying about the unpredictable future.
Texas Ranger manager Jeff Banister talked about how the team’s ‘Win Now’ approach has helped the players focus on the things that matter… the things that are required to lead to success!
BANISTER: “How you prepare from the moment you get up is how you start winning the day. It’s about becoming very singular in your purpose. It’s about dialing that focus down and not letting the outside noise enter. You go to win every pitch, every at-bat, every play. If you win enough of them, you have a great opportunity of winning a baseball game.”
By adopting a guiding force, a cue phrase, you can start immersing yourself in the present moment… and if you win enough present-moment battles, you might just win the war!
A Strategy for Improving Your Focus:
- Adopt your own cue phrase that has personal meaning to you. Keep your cue phrase short.
- Identify situations where you lose focus during competitive situations.These are your early warning signs.
- As these situations arise, have a conversation with yourself and remind yourself of your cue phrase.
- Redirect your focus to the task at hand.
If you practice this technique enough, you will have this mental tool available to you during critical game situations.
Get The Mental Edge For Baseball and Softball Players!
Do you (or your athletes) lack full confidence in your skills when you step on the field as if your game disappears at game time? Do you lose composure easily after you make your first error of time game? Do you feel embarrassed after striking out and carry this with you for longer than one inning?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Mental Edge For Baseball And Softball Players!
Boost your (or your athletes mental) toughness! Learn 8 mental toughness lessons to help ball players improve confidence, focus and composure.
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Watch Our Video of The Week
In this video, you’ll learn what to do if your ball players stress about the quality of their pregame warm up….
One Hidden Confidence-Killer for Ball Players
Watch the video below if you (or your players) lose confidence before the game even starts!
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“With your help, I have been able to deal with stress and pressure of the game of baseball more efficiently. I have learned to help me keep my focus and disregard negative thoughts and energies. This process focus will keep me from getting my head in the way of my performance, from working against myself. Thanks for your help. I look forward to speaking with you again.”
~Keith Donnell, college baseball player