How to Focus in the Moment
What is meant by “immersing yourself in the moment?” Immersing yourself in the moment is when you are grounded in the present moment or performing “in the now” without conscious thought.
Immersing yourself in the moment is a difficult concept for ball players to grasp and even more difficult for players to apply during games.
Many ballplayers have trouble staying focused in the present, such as the following player who responded to our Softball and Baseball Mental Toughness Survey:
“How can I keep my composure and maintain confidence after I make a mistake? I have a problem staying focused after a bad inning or several errors because I feel I could cost the game for my team.”
In this instance, your mind is bouncing back and forth from the past (the bad inning or errors) and the future (costing the game for your team). Fear of repeating those mistakes or “losing the game for your team” causes you to feel anxious, less confident, and mentally scattered.
The way to stay composed and confident is to bring your attention back to the moment.
You aren’t the only player who needs to be on guard for that mind travel that pulls your focus away from the present and towards the past or future. Immersing themselves in the moment is critical for the New York Yankees as they move deeper into the 2020 playoffs in hopes of another World Series championship.
The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians in their wildcard series and advanced to the American League Division Series. The Yankees’ next challenge is AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays who beat the Yankees 8 of 10 games during the regular season.
The Yankees could become distracted by recalling all the times the Rays beat them throughout the season or focus on the potential of losing the series and being knocked out of the playoffs.
Instead, immersing themselves in the moment gives the Yankees the best chance of success to move on to the American League Championship series.
New York catcher Gary Sanchez commented that the Yankees need to put the regular season at rest and focus on the playoff game they are about to play.
SANCHEZ: “The regular season is over. Whatever happened in the regular season, at this point, it doesn’t matter. That’s the thing about the playoffs — everybody starts from zero.”
Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman echoed Sanchez’s sentiment regarding the need to focus on the present moment.
CHAPMAN: “You’ve got to understand that we have a rivalry. We’re trying to do the same thing, to win. Whatever happened, that’s in the past. We’ve got to put that aside and focus on the series ahead.”
If you take Chapman’s comments further… Whatever happened in the last game, it doesn’t matter… Whatever happened in the last inning, it doesn’t matter… Whatever happened in your last at-bat, it doesn’t matter… And whatever happened last pitch, it doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters, the only place you can have a direct impact on your team’s success is a strong focus on the present moment.
How to Stay Present in the Moment:
Define the performance cues to help you keep focused in the present. For batting that includes stepping into the box, getting set up, focus on the pitcher’s release point, etc.
Ask yourself this question, “What matters now?” The answer to this question will help move your focus back to the present.
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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What are baseball mental game customers saying?
“Dr. Cohn, I’ve been tearing it up lately!!! Every single thing you taught me works perfectly in every situation I’ve been in. I’ve been so into every game and focusing on the process and not the outcomes and everything falls right into place . In the playoffs I’m 5-7 with 2 run home runs and 5 RBIs. I feel great at the plate and focusing is a breeze now. I just wanted to thank you for everything and keep you posted with how everything was going.”
~Jalen Phillips, College Baseball Player
“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
“Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with our team. It was greatly appreciated and really helped a lot. I found myself implementing your teachings in our first practice right after you left. I really enjoyed the way you implemented already known ideas, but gave us a different way of viewing it. Thank you.”
~Amber Prosser, Clark College Softball