A common challenge in the mental game of baseball is self-intimidation. Self-intimidation happens when you compare yourself to your teammates or opponents prior to the game and feel less worthy than others. You essentially psych yourself out before the competition begins becasue your think you don’t stack up.
You might worry about their team’s record against another team or feel that you aren’t as good as your teammates. This can cause you to perform tentatively, fear making mistakes, doubt your ability and lose focus on what’s important.
Self-intimidation can come in many forms such as…
- Feeling pressure to perform your best or win.
- Worry about performing against other players or teams who are just as skilled.
- Comparing yourself to other players or teammates who you think are better.
- Worry about competing against a good team.
- Get caught up in the hoopla or importance of a game
Confident and composed ball players don’t intimidate themselves. Confident baseball players are able to manage their emotions and enjoy the challenge of a close game.
How do you know if you are intimidating yourself?
Here are some signs that you are intimidated:
- You give too much energy to your competition during pregame.
- You have doubts about playing well against a certain team.
- You are in awe of the situation or hoopla of the competitive environment.
- You feel inferior to the competition or teammates and make comparisons to others.
A few mental game strategies can help you overcome your intimidation. One strategy is to develop a pregame routine. A pregame routine can help you focus your mind on what’s important before competition such as reviewing your game plan. Without a consistent pregame routine, you will be more likely to become distracted, which may include focusing on your competition.
You’ll also want to give yourself a boost of confidence before competition. You can think about past successful performances or use positive self-talk to improve your confidence. You’ll want to stop putting your opponents or teammates on a pestle and realize that you deserve to be there just as much as your opponents.