Overcoming Distractions in Baseball and Softball
How often do you play at your peak or have a perfect game in baseball or softball?
Do you find yourself playing one good game and following up that performance with several average games?
This inconsistency between games has nothing to do with ability.
The key factor that creates inconsistent play is the inability to have consistent mental preparation.
As you may know, there are many distractions that can affect your focus during a baseball game.
Some distractions are caused by outside sources:
- Crowd noise
- Chatter from opposing players
- Field conditions
- Broken equipment
Other distractions from internal sources:
- Negative thinking
- Past mistakes or errors
- Bad performance against certain opposing players or teams
- Bad games or choking in previous games
- Sensations of physical discomfort or pain
- Fear of failing
- Belief you need to be perfect
- Perceived pressure during close games or must-win games
You could probably identify many more with some being things that have tripped up your focus in the past.
With so many distractions competing for your attention and pulling you in different directions, it may seem difficult to maintain an optimal focus.
No baseball player is free from distractions. Even New York Yankee rookie Aaron Judge has faced many distractions through the 2017 season during a year where many believe he deserves MVP consideration.
Despite a .284 batting average, 112 RBIs and 51 homeruns, breaking the major league record for homeruns by a rookie set by Mark McGwire in 1987, Judge has faced many challenges to his focus…
Among those focusing challenges include:
- A slump following the All-Star break
- The chase for the homerun record
- The Yankees competing for a playoff spot throughout the second half of the season
- The potential for being the league MVP
- A shoulder injury and leading the league in striking out
Anyone would agree those are major distractions that can affect the focus of many baseball players.
Rather than getting wrapped up in all the hoopla, personal records and potential accolades, Judge has stayed focused on what he needs to do to contribute to the success of his team.
JUDGE: “Just like the record, I don’t try to think about [the MVP race]. Especially with what this team’s got going on, with this playoff push and trying to win a division. That’s more important to me right now. I’d rather be in good position in the playoffs and holding up a World Series trophy than an A.L. M.V.P. trophy, at this point.”
You have the capability to overcome distractions and improve your focus.
Focusing is a mental skill and skills can be improved through training.
Improve your consistency from game to game by learning how to improve your focus.
How to Focus on the Diamond:
First, define what you have to focus on for an at-bat, pitch, or defensive play.
Next, know your common internal and external distractions so you can adjust.
Finally, refocus when you notice your mind wandering away from your pre-pitch routine.
Remember that the skill of focusing begins in practice. Don’t wait until you lose focus in games to work on this skill.
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?
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