Mental Training is legal, inexpensive, effective and highly recommended by professional athletes. To improve your performance in baseball use mental training to supplement your performance needs, such as the tips listed below:
• Stay present-focused. You must keep your mind in the present moment focusing on what’s important to play your best. This is easier said than done. It is easy to think about the last strikeout you had or think ahead about the results of striking out. Know the task-specific cues you should focus on and be aware of when you are not on task. Stop and refocus your mind on the task or on what you should think about to execute well.
• Think one bat a time. Only think about one pitch at a time to help you stay focused on execution. Separate each pitch from the rest and don’t think about the consequences of getting a hit. You don’t want to be thinking about the last inning when you are at the plate in the middle of the game.
• Don’t think about results or outcomes. If you think about what you don’t want to do, you’ll tighten up and make a controlled swing. When you think about results, you’ll create tension and indecision. Focusing on execution will help you get good results. In an earlier article, I discussed how your at-bat routine should help you focus on specific cues to follow as you prepare for each at-bat. If you don’t have a routine, the mind is free to wander aimlessly as you prepare for each pitch.
• Cue yourself to concentrate. Sometimes it’s hard to refocus when the last at-bat was 30 minutes ago. Lock in your concentration once it is your turn to at the plate. To help you click in, try using a physical trigger to focus your mind, such as tightening the Velcro on your glove before the start. You want to turn your attention to preparation and execution for the first pitch, and if anything else enters your mind, let it pass through your mind.
• Relax your focus while you wait. Not too many players can focus continuously for two to three hours. When you are up to bat it’s important to be ready, but you don’t want to over analyze the entire game. After each inning, relax your focus and save your concentration for the next time at-bat. This will help you be “fresher” for the end of the game.
• Rehearse while you wait. Rehearse your at-bat before you’re up to play if you have trouble focusing after a long delay. For example, while on deck, imagine that you are at the plate taking pitches. Time your swing with the pitcher and “see” yourself make solid contact. When it’s your turn, you will be prepared to click in the focus because you already rehearsed your at-bat routine.