Staying Focused in Baseball
A baseball season can be very mentally grueling with its triumphs and trials, ups and downs, streaks and slumps.
With every pitch, there are countless thoughts competing for a player’s attention:
- previous at-bats
- nagging injuries
- fielding mishaps
- travel demands
- being away from home, etc
Multiply that by a three hour game over the course of a 162 game schedule and that equals a long season with a lot of distractions. Distractions take a baseball player away from the present moment, the only place where success can be attained. Distractions are merely mental energy focused in the wrong place that prevents a player from playing optimally.
Logan Morrison has battled the added distraction of two knee surgeries within a year over the span of his four-year MLB career. Morrison broke into the majors with the Marlins in 2010 and batted .283 in 62 games.
In 2011, Morrison hit 23 home runs in 123 games. In December of 2011, Morrison had knee surgery. Morrison’s knee never fully recovered and required another operation late last season to repair the patella tendon. Ouch!
After being called up from the minors in August, Morrison batted .340 (16-for-47) with nine RBIs
“I feel good,” Morrison said. “I’m getting more comfortable in the box. But I feel you’re only as comfortable as your last AB.”
Yes, confidence can be fleeting even for the pros.
Though the season is long, Morrison provided insight to his approach to the game,
“The mental grind hasn’t gotten to me. It’s taking every game as another game. Every at-bat is another at-bat, and every pitch is the pitch you’ve got to win. Just staying in the moment, which is what you’ve got to do.”
Though baseball is a numbers game, focusing on your statistics can take you out of the present moment.
Morrison has adopted a back-to-the-basics mentality,
“I’m not trying to think about this number or I need to get to that number,” he said. “I’m just trying to think about putting the barrel [of the bat] on the ball. If they go out, they go out. If they don’t, they don’t.”
How to stay in the present moment:
- Realize focusing in the present is a skill requiring practice.
- Recognize when your focus is diverted away from the present.
- Refocus is a valuable mental skill to bring you back to the present.
- Relax to help de-clutter your thoughts and re-set your focus back on the task at hand.
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