THOUGHTS: The average person has 2k thoughts a day and over 60% of those thoughts are negative however world class athletes have roughly 1k thoughts a day and over 60% of those thoughts are positive. What you think, is how you feel which in turn will be how you will perform. Short Term memory is key shutting mind off during competition allowing our body to perform. You play with your sub conscious memory not your conscious. I like to call it the 5 second rule, after 5 seconds success or failure you forget about it like it never happened. You need to forget and move on to the next play or pitch to play at your best. Keep it simple I hit the core of the ball with an accelerated bat head..I throw to well defined targets with late breaking great stuff.
RELAXATION/POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: Breathing, yes we do it every day to survive but rarely do I see players using its power to help them perform better. Breathing helps slow down our body and mind as well as helps us to relax. When there is nervousness there usually is stress and stress slows our reaction time, decisions and our muscles that we need to perform at our best. Breathing can help eliminate these obstacles however it’s must be done in a certain way. As you remove yourself from the situation that you might be in take 3 deep breathes thru your nose until your lungs are full and then slowly exhale thru your mouth do not force anything in the exhale just let it naturally exit thru your mouth. Another powerful exercise is tension release. Tighten your facial muscles for 5 seconds and then release. Now after you do that you want to apply an affirmation as I’m ready for this situation, let’s have I hit solid, see the ball hit the ball. The power of both breathing and positive reinforcement cannot be overlooked and must be in any great athlete’s preparation.
VISION/VISUALIZATION: This one of the Performance Cues (thought, image or strategy) and Visualization is a powerful tool to help you perform at your peak. What do you want out of life? You need to find the answer to this and visualize it! We have 3 types of visions broad (which we spend most of our days in), Tunnel (ex if we need to focus on getting a bunt down we can narrow our focus to get the job done), and Zone vision which is where your eyes double or triple their shutter speed to give you the illusion that everything is in slow motion or objects are larger than normal. See our minds do not know the difference between reality and fantasy. Meaning you can take batting practice while a passenger in a car if you have the proper environment to do so. The best time to visualize is before going to bed at night and as soon as you wake up. Picture yourself as the performer hear smell and feel as if you are actually doing it. Do this for 10 consecutive nights and you will see a difference in your performance..
ENJOYMENT/NO FEAR OF FAILURE: Importance of enjoying what you do will help you perform better the best athletes have the most fun and perform better than the ones that don’t have fun playing their sport. Be in the present moment don’t think ahead or behind just focus on what’s in the present moment. Finally, no fear of failure; we are taught from society at a young age that failure is not good or acceptable but as baseball players failure is a big part of the game and is ok 3 out of 10 is .300 BA you failed 7 times. The fact is not if you will fail but how you will respond when u fail. I hear all the time but the umpire made a bad call and my answer is this can u control the umpire? No that’s right so why are we spending so much time worrying about his bad calls and not more on what we can do on the next pitch?
CONCLUSION: Develop the “Q” game..Quality At Bats, Quality Pitches. Change the way you look at success and you will see you are more successful than you think. Win the next at bat. Win the next pitch. Win the next inning. Win the game. Set goals which lead to a defined vision and make a list of pro active items you will do to help achieve that goal. Every day review and make sure you did at least on item on your list. Physical ability will only be brought out if the most important skill is developed and that is between the ears. Doubters never win and winners never doubt. I will leave you with this thought if you think you will you might if you think you won’t your right. If you prepared like a winner, trust it and now go play like a winner.
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Post By: Rick Saggese, XFS, CSAC