Staying Confident After Negative Commentary
In baseball, how many times have you heard things like: “That player is not tall enough,” “He doesn’t have the arm strength,” “He is not quick enough to be a leadoff hitter,” or, “He is too slow, too fat, too uncoordinated, too…”?
Similar statements can be said about certain baseball teams: “They don’t have a number one starter,” “They don’t have the bats,” “They don’t have the bench depth,” or, “They have no chance due to all their injuries.”
Negative commentary can greatly affect your confidence–if you allow it to get into your mind and embrace it.
Some things are a reality, such as:
- you are undersized
- your team is battling injuries
- you can’t hurl the ball at 100 MPH
The implied conclusion is wrong!
For example, “They don’t have the bench depth,” implies that the players on the bench cannot be effective substitutes or the team’s production will significantly drop off.
However, the bench player can add to the team’s success in a different but significant way such as stealing bases or as a defensive specialist.
“He doesn’t have the arm strength,” implies he cannot get hitters out but maybe you are a sinker pitcher who gets the majority of your outs by ground balls or maybe you can paint the corners of the plate due to your impeccable control.
You have a choice as to what thoughts reside in your head space.
Just because someone has an opinion about your ability or your team’s chances of success does not qualify those statements as true.
But there is one guarantee…. The thoughts and labels you adopt from others will greatly affect your mindset on the field.
The New York Yankees were widely thought of as a rebuilding project for the 2017 season.
The Yankees have eight players 25 years of age or younger on their 40-man roster. In addition to a young roster, the Yankees suffered three injuries to key players early in the season and their starting rotation was considered questionable.
A 1-4 start to the season didn’t help to quiet the naysayers either…
The Yankees players refused to allow outside negativity into the mind space.
In fact, the Yankees’ mindset was, “Let’s just go out and play hard every day.”
This mindset helped the Yankees run off an eight-game winning streak.
Yankee rookie right fielder, Aaron Judge, stated he was not surprised by the team’s winning streak.
JUDGE: “It’s not really a shock. We’re just going out there and competing. I think that’s the biggest thing. We didn’t get down because (Gary) Sanchez is injured and Didi (Gregorius) is injured. We’re just out there trying to compete, and when you do that anything can happen.”
When you don’t pay attention to negativity from others, you can focus and compete to your utmost potential.
How to Not Adopt Others’ Negativity:
One way to keep a confident mindset is to focus on your strengths, talents, and abilities–as an individual and team.
You may not be able to do everything, but you can do something well and contribute to the team success.
Identify what you do well and know how to apply this in each game or game situation.
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