Staying Focused During Games
Do you start a game focused and ready to play, ready to clean up, but then become distracted by your own negative inner chatter?
Many baseball players can get focused, but their inner chatter can hold them back from performing their best.
Your negative inner chatter includes any thoughts that do not help you perform in the moment. You might be thinking about the score of the game as you get up to bat. You might be worried about what your hitting coach thinks about your last swing.
No matter what you are thinking, these internal thoughts can get in the way of your performance.
Many baseball players focus too much on the outcome of the game. They might be thinking about how many outs their team has. A hitter might be thinking about his game stats at the plate during his at-bat. The outcome of the game may be important, but it doesn’t help you perform your best at the current moment.
Most athletes have trained themselves to focus when needed, but sometimes their own inner chatter or internal, self-induced distractions prevent them from performing up to their potential.
The best ball players in the world, such as Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez realize the importance of staying in the present.
When you stay in the present, you are thinking about what you have to do to execute a certain task.
If you’re a hitter, you might focus on making solid contact with the ball…
If you’re a pitcher, you might focus on your strategy for the upcoming hitter…
If you can stay focused on the current play or pitch, the results of the game will come.
You’ll also want to focus one game at a time instead of thinking about your score in the series, like Derek Jeter.
“Our focus is one game at a time,” Derek Jeter said. “That’s been our focus since early in the first half. Seriously, I don’t sit around and think about the Wild Card, the division, anything like that. It’s like I said two months ago — if we go out and win our games, at the end of the year, we’ll be where we want to be.”
The bottom line is to control your inner chatter on the field. When you notice your attention shifting to what’s not important, such as doubts or outcome of the game, tell yourself to refocus on the current pitch.
Think about what you need to do to execute the task successfully, such as picking a target or committing to your strategy.
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