Have you ever watched a baseball player walk to the plate and you can see the tension in his face? He has rehearsed this scenario many times in his mind.
His parents, coaches and teammates have all said all of the encouraging things they can… “Just relax up there” “Just have some fun” “Have some confidence” “Believe in yourself” “Blah, Blah, Blah”
Now all of these comments sound good and have good intentions. They just aren’t addressing who is really in control of the body.
You see…there are two parts to your mind. The first is the Conscious Mind (CM). It is basically what you think about all day. This is what the player above is using to try and calm himself. He is thinking, “RELAX, BREATHE, YOU CAN DO THIS, HAVE SOME FUN!!!!”
The other part of your mind is the Unconscious Mind (UCM). The main responsibility of the UCM is to run and protect the body. The UCM really doesn’t care about your success on the field. So once the batter steps into the box and looks out at that pitcher, all of the fears, tension, and stress that are stored in the UCM come crashing down into the body and affects how the body performs.
So the great advice given by his support system of coaches, parents and teammates goes right out the window. There are no words to help this player at this moment.
Taking additional hitting lessons and batting practice will build some confidence, but it won’t address this problem. This is a MENTAL TOUGHNESS TRAINING issue. You see, STRESS is the enemy. Once STRESS is involved, the UCM turns to survival mode.
A professional mental toughness training coach is needed to provide the skills necessary to overcome this level of mental baggage that is limiting the performance of this athlete. Winners Win In Advance. What does this mean? Good hitters don’t wait until they are in a slump to work on their swings. Good pitchers don’t wait until they lose velocity or lose command before they work to improve their deliveries. Gold Glove fielders don’t wait until they make a couple of errors before they take some ground balls in practice. All of these players work on these skills everyday. Players should not wait until they have a mental breakdown or lose their confidence before they begin to work on their MENTAL GAME.
Remember…the CM and the UCM are always in a fight for control over your mind….and when the stress of competition is present, unless you have the skills to use your UCM to MASTER your emotions, you will struggle every time.