McHugh’s Mindset For Preseason Preparation
How often do you need to take some time to get into the rhythm of a game?
Or maybe it takes you several games to adapt to what you learned in preseason to the regular season.
Many times ball players feel the need to ease into a game or the season.
The mindset of some athletes is that they need to be comfortable or get into the flow of game action in order to play optimally.
But what if your slow start has a carryover effect further into the game or a string of games into the season? What if you can’t find that rhythm?
Trying to find your rhythm in a game can cause you to waste several at-bats or pitch a few bad innings to give up an early lead.
The slow start forces you to play catch-up the rest of the game.
A slow start to the season can lead to losing streak and a blow to your team’s confidence.
This slow start may even affect team morale making it more difficult to play your best baseball.
You should never use a few at-bats or a string of games as warm-up. This defensive approach to the game could be the catalyst for a slump.
You have an alternative to easing into a game or season…
Be ready for the first pitch or be in attack-mode the first game of the season.
Firing on all cylinders requires a great deal of pre-game preparation and a certain mindset.
Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh has changed his approach to the 2016 season.
Last year, it took until the second half of the season for McHugh to produce his best work.
McHugh was a 19-game winner but wants to be firing on all cylinders by the start of the season.
McHugh is focused on preparing thoroughly during spring training and honing his change-up so he can play his best from his very first start.
McHugh’s has the mindset of starting fast right out of the gate and being a strong first-half pitcher.
MCHUGH: “Get better now. Get better early. Honestly, spring training… you have to be able and willing to work on stuff because if you come out of the gate just a little flat, it can drop on you quick. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen a month get away from you and you can’t get it back, no matter how good you get down the stretch.”
McHugh has a proactive mindset going into the season. If you do everything in your power to prepare, you will ride the wave of confidence from the first pitch.
Imagine the advantage you gain over all those other players who feel the need to ease into the season… And your “start strong mindset” will give you momentum through a nine inning game or the start of the season.
Tip for Developing the “Start Strong” Mindset
Look back at games where you played your best after a few at-bats or pitches. What were the things that you needed to get into that flow of the game?
Most likely, it was that you needed that game-like feel. Work on getting your intensity at the optimal level.
Instead of approaching pregame as a time to relax and chill, create some mental game-like scenarios towards the end of your warm up routine so you are ready to play your best from the very first pitch.
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