Playing Confidently and Staying Immersed in The Moment
How often have you been in the zone throughout your career? Do you find getting in the zone a difficult task?
Many ballplayers believe getting in the zone is not under their control. A lot of players think getting in the zone happens by chance and is a rare occurrence.
In our Softball and Baseball Mental Toughness Survey, a ballplayer asked about the process of playing in the zone:
“How can I get into the zone and stay there during a game?”
You can learn a lot about being in the zone by understanding how your mental game breads down when you are not in the zone.
In your bad games, you feel mentally scattered. Your thoughts are all over the place. You think of the mistakes you have made in past games or early in the game. You fear striking out and giving up runs.
It feels like you can’t shut down the thinking part of your brain. When you over-think and play out all scenarios in your mind, you interfere with your body’s ability to react intuitively. Your mind cycles back and forth from the past to the future.
Being in the zone is a mental state that is about immersing yourself in the moment. When you are immersed in the moment, you are not thinking about the last pitch, you are not thinking about potential “what ifs?”
When you are immersed in the moment, you are not thinking about your technique or mechanics. Being in the zone is focusing in the moment with little or no attention to conscious thought. In other words, being in the zone is a matter of just playing.
Let’s look at a Major League Baseball example of being in the zone:
In a pre-season game against the Washington Nationals, Houston Astros pitcher Luis Garcia threw four scoreless innings, striking out five batters while allowing two hits and two walks.
The interesting part was that Garcia threw a rare immaculate inning in the fifth, striking out the side on nine pitches. It wasn’t until Garcia was in the dugout that he realized the feat he just accomplished.
GARCIA: “I was throwing the ball, that’s it. [When I was] in the dugout, waiting for the next inning, I thought ‘Oh my God, I think I threw a perfect inning.'”
Garzia was in the zone, not thinking, not analyzing, just pitching.
In order to get into the zone, you must let go of all those conscious thoughts reminding you what to do or the details of what has happened. The zone is your worry-free bubble where you play at your peak.
How to Get in the Zone:
The goal of every ball player should be to set the conditions to get into the zone–not have a zone performance.
Remember, most of the time you are not in the zone and playing at a 7-8 out of 10–and you have to learn to adjust.
How do you set the conditions for the zone?
(1) Immerse self in the present moment, (2) Fuel your confidence prior to the game and don’t leave it to chance, (3) Trust in the skills you have been working on in practice, (4) Keep your game simple and don’t “practice” during games!
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.
Download your copy TODAY and start boosting your mental toughness!
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