What Are Confidence Killers For Ball Players?
Baseball players can undermine their confidence without even knowing it. One way is to set strict expectations. The other is to hold onto self-doubt. We’ll take a look at each of these mental game challenges to help you boost your self-confidence.
Here is my conclusion after working with 1000’s of athletes:
Strict or high expectations can undermine and suck the life out of confidence!
Expectations can be tricky. You might think that setting high expectations is good for your performance. But, in reality, expectations can put unnecessary pressure on yourself. You set your expectations so high, they are almost impossible to reach.
If you’re not performing up to your expectations, you become frustrated and lose confidence in your game.
I’ve worked with baseball players who expect to throw a no hitter. Only a handful of professional athletes have thrown a no-hitter in their career.
In 2008, only two professional baseball players have thrown a no-hitter, Carlos Zambrano and Jon Lester.
Think about how many games these teams play a year and only two players, in two different games have thrown a no-hitter. Therefore, no matter how good you are, pitching a no-hitter is not likely.
Doubts can also hurt your confidence.
Doubt is the opposite of baseball confidence. When you doubt yourself, you question your ability. You might wonder if you can beat the opposing team. You might wonder if you can hit a ball to left field. Most baseball players doubt themselves after making a mistake or performing poorly.
You’ll want to turn those doubts into statements of confidence. To do that, you want to take a positive outlook on the situation. If you doubt your ability to get a hit, you might tell yourself that you’ve hit millions of pitches before and today is no different.
Besides, doubts are just about your perception of the situation. According to Carlos Pena, of the Tampa Bay Rays, you don’t think about the doubts and just play baseball.
“We’re not intimidated at all (of the Boston Red Sox),” Carlos Pena said. “Remember this: intimidation, worry, fear, doubt is all a product of perception. It depends on how you perceive things. Our point of view is, we’ve got a ball game to play, OK? That’s it. Let’s play baseball, period.”
Your baseball mental game tip for today is to let go of expectations and doubts, which undermine your baseball confidence.
Take positive stance about the areas of your game and your ability to perform well. Think about what you need to do in the moment, instead of setting high expectations, such as making solid contact with the ball.
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