Maintaining Confidence During Performance Dips
Confidence is difficult to maintain for many baseball players especially when you have “one of those games.”
You know the ones… You give up three homeruns… or you blow the lead in the bottom of the ninth… or you go hitless with runners in scoring position… or you have been plagued by a string of fielding errors.
It is hard to be confident when your performance dips, but not only CAN you be confident during performance dips, it is imperative to maintain confidence in order to rebound from a bad game.
Take for example the Texas Rangers’ bullpen… The Rangers relief staff finished strong in the last games of the 2015 season combining for a 3.01 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .226 batting average.
This year has been a different story. During the first 33 games of 2016, the Ranger’s bullpen has a collective ERA of 4.89 (highest in the American League) and opposing hitters have a .286 batting average against the Rangers’ relief pitchers.
Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson hit a rough patch early in 2016 after an early season blown save caused his ERA to balloon to 5.84. But it was Tolleson’s ability to maintain his confidence that helped him bounce back, regain his previous form and lower his ERA to 2.38.
TOLLESON: “We’re definitely still confident, and it’s fair to say we have high expectations. Yeah, I mean, I speak for myself, I haven’t performed like I want to to start the season. We’re not worried. We are going to keep going out there and keep throwing, take care of ourselves, show up ready to pitch and expect the results to change.”
The big question is, is the Ranger bullpen staying confident after posting 10 relief losses this year?
Let’s refer back to Tolleson’s statement…
- “We’re not worried” – Confidence drops when you fear the same results will continue to happen. The Rangers trust their ability to pitch… The bullpen has produced before and they expect to return to form.
- “We are going to keep going out there and throwing, take care of ourselves” – Confidence plummets when you take the focus off what you are doing now. The Rangers relief pitchers are focused on what they can do in the present and letting go of past bad results.
- “We are going to show up ready to pitch and expect the results to change” – When you expect the worst, you get the worst and your confidence suffers tremendously. The Rangers staff continues to prepare, work hard in practice and follow their recipe for success which helped them produce top performances previously.
You can maintain confidence by continuing to prepare yourself mentally and physically, let go of the past, stay focused on what you need to do now and keep showing up!
Tips for maintaining confidence during performance dips:
You need to remind yourself that a dip cannot occur unless you were once producing at a high level. There cannot be a valley without a peak.
Stay focused on the things you have done mentally and physically to perform at your peak. This is your personal recipe for success!
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