Playing to Win vs. Playing Not to Lose
The more games you play, the more you will understand the importance of mental toughness. Baseball will place you in the spotlight at the most pressure packed moments of a ballgame. A strong mental make up may be the difference between coming through in the clutch or caving under the weight of late inning rally. Self-confidence is best learned through experience – playing. The only way to learn how to handle pressure is to experience it.
Knowing the batter is not going to hit this VS. “I hope he doesn’t hit this”
Self-confidence plays a huge role in the success of an individual player. When I was pitching well, I knew that I was going to hit my spot and that I was going to get this batter out. When I was in a slump, however, I found myself doubting my abilities and trying to hit my spots with the hopes that the batter would not get a hit. As a pitcher, you will have to deal with loud crowds, tough oppositions, and less than great umpires. Being mentally strong and having a good sense of self-confidence will allow you to perform under pressure, and maintain your aggressive approach. In times when you feel doubt creeping into your mind, take a deep breath and push those doubts out of your head with an aggressive attitude and positive self-talk. Say to the batter, “Here it comes!” Let it go, and throw it hard. Trust yourself and make your… best… pitch.
Taking the field expecting to win VS. Playing not to lose (hoping to win)
Self-confidence plays a vital role in the success of a team. Teams with an attitude of playing not to lose will roll over the moment they fall behind in a ballgame. One bad call will break their backs, or a late inning deficit will be impossible to come back from. A team’s self-confidence should push them to play aggressively, and put their opponents back on their heels. This starts during pregame infield/outfield, where sharp execution
“Don’t worry, we’ll come back” VS. “Oh, here we go again”
Self-confidence plays a vital role in the makings of a leader. You can help your team build positive self-confidence as a unit, by making others feel comfortable when the pressure is on. Lead with your actions, and take the field expecting to win. If the opposing team goes up 4-0 early, you can tell your teammates: “Don’t worry, we’ve got 5 innings to go. We’ll get ‘em back.” As a pitcher, your actions, self-confidence and body language are very influencing over your teammates. If it’s late in a game, the bases are loaded and there are two outs, your teammates will look to you on the mound for guidance. When you show them, through poise and mental toughness, that you can handle the situation and that you have the confidence to get this next batter out, they will feed off of your self-confidence and be ready to perform if the ball is hit to them.
- What is something you have confidence in? An activity you don’t hesitate to begin?
- Where would you like to have more confidence?
- In what ways could we work and practice to EARN that confidence?
- There are no Execution Keys
- There are no DC Keys