How to Focus on The Process Rather Than Outcome
Do you feel prepared every day you play but aren’t getting any results?
Do you get locked in with each at-bat, but the hits aren’t coming?
Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, has been struggling at the plate lately.
He’s in an 0-14 slump and his production is the worst it’s been this late into the season in his whole career.
Rizzo admitted that he started looking at his stats on the scoreboard before each at-bat, and that may have caused him more pressure.
He also stated:
“I’m very, very, very confident that on Sept. 30 the numbers will be where they need to be.”
Rizzo expects his statistics to be where they have been in the past couple of seasons, and where others expect him to be.
Additionally, the Cubs manager said:
“With guys like Anthony who are really good, the biggest thing is to make him not try to do anything differently. Just permit the process to work its course. ‘You’re good; you’re really good. You’re going to get hot, and that number is going to balance out.'”
Rizzo obviously feels added pressure via his own expectations, his team’s expectations, and his fans’ expectations for his performance.
He also seems to be thinking about outcome and results, as he looks at his numbers on the scoreboard before each at-bat.
Focusing on expectations or the outcome can be a recipe for disaster.
I (Dr. Megan) was a big hitter, a homerun hitter, all throughout my softball career. I hit a walk-off so hard once that I dented the metal bat.
I hit double-digit homeruns each year of my high school career. Going into my senior year, I needed only 4 to have the State 4-A homerun record.
Piece of cake, right?
Well, I only hit 2 homers that season… I expected to hit a homerun just about each game like I did the previous three seasons.
Others expected me to hit and have the state record. My coaches, teammates, friends, and especially my parents/family expected that season to be my best and thought there was no doubt I would hold the record.
With those high expectations of myself and the ones I felt from others, I started to feel a lot of pressure.
I looked to the outcome… hitting homeruns, instead of focusing on the process and what it takes to hit a homerun.
Similar to Rizzo right now, others expect a lot from him and he expects a lot from himself.
Though, Maddon understands and spoke some wise words:
“Just permit the process to work its course.”
When you focus too much on the outcome, you rarely get the outcome.
When you think process, it will reward you.
If you’re in a position like Rizzo and not hitting, think more about working the process rather than the outcome.
Think about the things you’re doing when you’re hitting well and focus on that. For example, seeing the ball, your contact point, timing the pitcher when on deck, etc.
Also, make sure you park your expectations before stepping onto the field.
When you have high expectations for yourself or think that others have high expectations for you, you tend to judge yourself harshly after your performance.
The tough judgements can then hit your confidence and trust pretty hard.
Replace your expectations with small objectives, the things that help you focus on the process.
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