The Huskies Comeback With Mental Toughness
Baseball is a game where your play is greatly affected by mental factors.
Physical prowess can score runs but mental fortitude wins games.
How you respond to making a critical out, giving up a home run, making an error or facing a losing streak are impacted by your mindset.
You have a choice…
You can allow circumstances to defeat you and drag you further into the depths of mistakes, errors, and slumping play.
When you concede to negative circumstances, your emotions and thinking become distorted… You take yourself out of the game mentally… You resign yourself to losing.
Or you can take a different approach… You can choose to come back better than before…
When you respond with mental toughness, you commit to grinding games out, finding ways to win and taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves in each game.
Instead of resigning yourself to losing, you resolve yourself to win.
The UConn Huskies baseball team lost their first two games in walk off fashion.
Many teams would experience a letdown when you lose back-to-back games in heartbreaking fashion… but not the Huskies.
The Huskies responded by winning the next four games in a row by scores of 9-6, 12-4, 19-4 and 25-3… That is 65 runs in four games!
Even after a loss to Liberty University in seventh game of the season, the Huskies once again showed their mental toughness avenging the loss and coming back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Liberty 7-5 in extra innings the very next day.
The Huskies’ mental toughness allowed the team to keep their heads in the game and find a way to win.
UConn Head Coach Jim Penders attributes his team’s four-game romp to a change in mentality rather than improved technical skills.
PENDERS: “It’s not like they changed any swings, but their approach in the batter’s box was outstanding.”
Penders believes mentally tough teams keep the focus on themselves and on their strengths instead of adjusting to the other team’s strengths.
This is an important part of mental toughness because it keeps you looking for ways to grind out victories.
PENDERS: “We’re looking more at what we can do as a team as opposed to what the opponent can do. We’re more focused on ourselves and our preparation than on any scouting.”
Nobody denies that to be successful you need to be mechanically sound and physically strong but you cannot rely only on these two components of performance.
If you are willing to work on your mental toughness, you will always have that chance to mount a comeback.
Strategy to resolve yourself to win
You always have another pitch or another game. Grind it out every inning and finish every game.
Mental toughness only exists in the present moment. Remind yourself consistently that this pitch may be the one where you break through.
The only way you give yourself a chance to win is if you give yourself a chance mentally!
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