How to Perform Your Best Under Pressure
Some baseball players thrive in crunch time, such as when the bases are loaded. They want to be up to pitch or bat in this situation.
These players demonstrate their confidence and trust to perform their best in critical moments.
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester is one of those players who thrives in crunch time. Lester pitched his way out of a bases loaded scenario to help the Sox beat the Angels 5-1.
“It’s nice to be able to fight out off that and get the ‘W. When you’re able to get out of those jams, it just builds confidence. So when you get into games that really matter, you can draw back and say, ‘I’ve been here before,” said Lester.
Some players tend to freeze under pressure when the team depends on them. You might over think your performance and analyze too much, which leads to tight and tentative play.
How can you perform your best under pressure?
Pressure is really self-induced and comes from within yourself, not the situation itself. It’s best not to put pressure on yourself to get a hit or pitch a strike.
Try to avoid thinking about the consequences of the game or your actions.
Don’t think about “what-if” scenarios, which doesn’t help you perform in the moment. Instead, think about your strategy or the little things that help you perform in the moment.
A batter may think about standing tall. A pitcher may think about his target.
You also want to draw on your confidence in those moments.
Remind yourself of the times when you performed your best, just like Lester suggests.
Replay those good performances in your mind to help you feel confident as you go up to bat or pitch to the next batter.
You can also rely on having an effective at-bat or pre-pitch routine. Use your routine to help you get into a confident and focused mindset, and stay in the moment.
By focusing on what you need to do, you shut out distractions, and can focus on one pitch at a time.
But keep it simple: plan it, see it, and do it!
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