The Link Between Composure And Success
A baseball player’s ability to stay composed is critical to success.
When you’re composed, you can play up to your physical ability. You don’t get rattled by a couple of bad calls. You’re able to stay relaxed after mistakes. You can let go of mistakes or mishaps quickly.
Pirates’ relief pitcher Octavio Dotel knows a thing or two about staying composed in crunch-time. Dotel was sent in to keep a 3-3 tie with the L.A. Dodgers Wednesday night. The tie seemed to be slipping away when Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll hit a double. To make matters worse, Carroll ran to third on Dotel’s wild pitch. With a runner on third base and no outs, Dotel kept his composure.
He responded with three outs: a comebacker by Rafael Furcal, striking out Matt Kemp and a ground out to Manny Rameriez.
The Pittsburg Pirates went on to win the game 4-3. Pirates’ Ronny Cedeno sealed the win a single line-drive in the 10th inning.
“You can’t start thinking about it, like ‘Oh, my, they’ve got a guy on third, it’s the ninth inning. You’ve got to keep yourself relaxed as much as you can and go pitch by pitch, and that’s what I did,” said Octavio Dotel.
Many ball players can get rattled when things don’t go as planned. You might throw a wild pitch, walk a batter, or strike out. When things don’t go as planned, many players become frustrated, dwell on errors and then speed up their routine.
Playing angry or frustrated baseball can cause more errors, poor decisions and mental mistakes.
You’ll want to maintain your focus on the task at hand.
Focus on what you have to do to throw a good pitch or to make a successful hit. You can focus on seeing the ball well at-bat or focus on the catcher’s mitt if you’re a pitcher.
Another strategy: stay calm.
“If you watched that inning closely, he never panicked. He knows the game is on the line. He knows a runner is on third base. He knows he’s facing a great lineup. But you still make your pitches. That’s what a veteran guy does. He’s figured it out. He knows how to control himself. That was impressive,” said teammate Evan Meek of Dotel.
Your baseball psychology tip for today is to refocus the moment you find yourself losing composure or dwelling on the past.
Remember that no one can make you feel frustrated but yourself.
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