Common Mental Game Challenges For Ball Players
Your mindset can be an asset or a determent to your performance.
If you doubt yourself, lose composure after mistakes or over analyze your performance, your mindset can hurt your performance.
You can be your own worst enemy.
In these situations, it’s hard to bounce back with confidence and composure during the game.
Many baseball players struggle with these mental game challenges.
Cleveland pitcher, Justin Masterson is aware of the mental battle with himself. Masterson helped the Indians beat the Red Sox 11-0 last Wednesday night.
“You get a little excited, but once you get on the field, it is game time. Half the time, the battle for me is with myself,” Masterson said.
Half of the battle is fighting with your own mind.
Many ball players sabotage their performance; they can’t get out of their own way.
They set high expectations for their performance.
If you expect to perform perfectly or not make any mistakes you are setting yourself up for failure.
When you don’t achieve those expectations, you become frustrated with your performance.
You can also sabotage yourself by adopting negative self-labels.
Negative self-labels are confidence-busting names you use to describe yourself. You might tell yourself you’re a streaky hitter, for example.
Even though you may engage in self-sabotage, you can improve your mindset.
First, let go of any expectations you have for your performance. Instead, focus on what you need to do in the moment to execute, such as seeing the ball well.
Next, change your negative self-labels into positive ones. Instead of calling yourself a streaky hitter, tell yourself you’re a consistent hitter.
If you feel like you’re losing the mental battle, stay patient–you can improve your mental game with practice.
Take time to become aware of your mental shortcomings and work to improve your mindset.
A strong mental game can only benefit your performance.
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“Dr. Cohn, I’ve been tearing it up lately!!! Every single thing you taught me works perfectly in every situation I’ve been in. I’ve been so into every game and focusing on the process and not the outcomes and everything falls right into place . In the playoffs I’m 5-7 with 2 run home runs and 5 RBIs. I feel great at the plate and focusing is a breeze now. I just wanted to thank you for everything and keep you posted with how everything was going.”
~Jalen Phillips, College Baseball Player
“Ty has started nine games this season, and he is 6-0, with a 2.6 ERA. Two weeks ago he pitched a 9-inning shutout, breaking his school’s record with 17 strikeouts. For his efforts he was named NJCAA Division I National Pitcher of the Week. He’s in a real good place mentally. The mental game skills you taught him about mental preparation, eliminating expectation, and staying in the moment have been the keys to his success. The thing I have noticed most is his improved consistency. I have been amazed at the change in his mental game. I should have called you earlier to thank you personally.”
~Randy Sullivan, Ty’s Father
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Do you (or your athletes) lack full confidence in your skills when you step on the field as if your game disappears at game time?
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~Marty Hunter, Head Baseball Coach George Fox University
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Mental Game of Baseball Success Stories
“With your help, I have been able to deal with stress and pressure of the game of baseball more efficiently. I have learned what it means to focus on the process to help me keep my focus and disregard negative thoughts and energies. This process focus will keep me from getting my head in the way of my performance, from working against myself. Thanks for your help. I look forward to speaking with you again.”
~Keith Donnell, College Baseball Player.
“I currently play NCAA Division 1 Baseball, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game; my attitude and confidence at the plate. Thank you for helping in my continuing goal to mental toughness.”
~Tylor Prudhomme, College Baseball Player