Category Archives: Mental Game

Famous Numb3rs in Major League HITTING!

“The Hitting Ball Game”

Each of the numbers on the “Hitting Ball” represent a significant and important number relating to a hitting or batting feat in Major League Baseball history. In order to qualify as a REAL baseball fan, you must be able to identify each of these! Write the correct answer beside each number.(Example: If the number were 61: Roger Maris’ 1961 HR total..AL HR record). Be a REAL fan and do it without the internet! Good Luck and GAGPTH!

1/8 135 4256
4 136 6856
6 177 .366
8 191 .406
12 225 .408
16 232 .424
19 262 .481
23 267 .609
36 309 .69
49 457 .863
50 755
56 792
67 1406
73 1477
74 2295
119 2297
120 3215

Visualization

Successful and confident athletes have positive images of themselves in their heads. They “see” themselves being successful at whatever they undertake. It is a positive mindset that will prepare the player for games, tough situations, and the future. Creating images in one’s head to build confidence and to see what will occur on the field of play is called visualization. It is widely used by athletes and successful people in almost every walk of life. See it and you will do it!

The mind does not distinguish between what is real and what is imagined, hence, visualization prepares one for what will happen and, thus be enhanced/prepared for the actual. Visualization allows one to rehearse the performance before-hand, making the player more comfortable and confident when it comes time to actually perform/play! Roberto Clemente (HOF) recommended that a player review a mistake/error he made in a game by replaying it in his head successfully; hence, the last image is positive not negative.

Visualization is not day dreaming but “seeing” specific situations so when they occur, the player is ready to go and has already done it in his/her head. Knowing the exact situation prior to each pitch and setting the mind to react will greatly empower the player to make the play!! A great aid the night before a game or event, is to fall asleep successfully executing a line drive base hit and stretching it into a double!

Some Hints to Help:

  • Pitchers: See the ball go right to the target and command the ball to go there!
  • Hitters: Watch the pitcher and focus on his release point and practice swinging at that pace. On deck, work with your swing “seeing” the ball being hit where it is pitched.
  • Fielders: Between pitches, see the ball being hit to you and your fielding it successfully, as you GO to the ball! In practice, imagine each ball as if it is in an actual game and play it hard and fast.

It is very simple: “See it..hit it..get it..pitch or throw it” first in your mind then
for REAL!

GAGPTH

MENTAL “Edges”

A very important part of the game is developing your mental approach to playing and preparing. The “mental game” is as important as the physical game and requires FOCUS and discipline!! Know the “inside game”…all the little things that will give you an “edge” and help you succeed in your development as a real player! Here are a few to think about!

1. On the mound you are “king of the Hill”, on defense YOU want the ball, as a hitter YOU can hit ANYBODY!!!
2. Focus on the game, each play and the ball…at ALL times!
3. Know the rules!!
4. Do NOT listen to the fans…stay in the game and concentrate on the situation and what you are going to do!
5. WATCH THE BALL…on offense and defense!!!
6. Listen HARD and be “heads up”!
7. Develop your vision: eye exercises and exams.
8. HUSTLE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME!
9. Get on, get over, get in…it is a TEAM game not about YOU!
10. Learn to “adjust on the fly”: change when what you are doing does not work and adapt to the umpire…he will not change!
11. Learn to do the “little things”: Bunt, shag, fungo, bare-hand a ball, etc.
12. STAY in the GAME…no matter what the score is…It ain’t over til it’s over!
13. GAGPTH!!!

Some Little Tips to Remember:

1. Learn to decoy a runner.
2. “Sell” a tag”
3. Do not pick up a ball, push it into the ground.
4. Bare hand a slow roller.
5. “Foul ball, go back”: as a 2b or SS always say that after a runner steals a base or as he is going by you!
6. Bunt: Only a strike(unless suicide) and UP in the box
7. Two strike hitting: choke up, shorten, and make contact!

Mental Toughness and How to Play the Game!!

Being a good and successful ball player means MORE than having talent and going through the motions. A REAL player develops strong discipline, focus and emotional constraint, and thinks of the team FIRST and foremost!! Learn to “Play the Game” and be an important part of the team!!!

1. Be ready to play and be at YOUR best every day. Be rested, eat properly, keep in condition, and “Be Prepared!”
2. Nothing nor anyone will get in the way or distract you from quality practice, conditioning, or pre-game regimen. Pay the price!!
3. Play HARD all the time! Run out EVERY ball, anticipate each and every play, back up on EVERY play, be alert and listen, and “give it ALL you’ve got!”
4. Let NO ONE intimidate or threaten you! Focus on your job and play YOUR game!
5. Keep your poise and emotional constraint at all times. Do not let someone “get into your head”. YOU dictate the game!!
6. Be a GREAT teammate. Encourage, support, and keep the team in the game.
7. COMPETE to WIN!!!

The key to playing the game is to have a “tough mind”. Do not allow others to tell you how to play or listen to anything they say. Winning is never an issue but a result of focus and execution. Do your best and do YOUR job. If each player does their best and their job, the team is a success. There will be highs and lows, but a good player does not worry about these; he rolls with the times and continues to do his job and aims for consistent and productive results.

“Talent is never enough. Hustle, play hard, compete! GAGPTH!”

PREPARATION

Do or Do not, there is NO try!” Yoda

Abe Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I would take four of the hours to sharpen my ax!” What a delightful way to express the importance of preparation; in the Army the motto was P3=P3!!! No matter how you phrase it, preparation is one of the most important keys to success…in sports as in life!!

A fairly simple equation for success in any venture is: Preparation + Hard Work = Success. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the future” is a credo well taken. Many have espoused the “secret” of success and charged a fee for the revelation; there is NO “secret” as it will get down to that simple formula. There are other variables as to the degree of success (opportunity, good fortune, etal), but experience proves it valid. It takes 3500 repetitions or more in order to learn a skill set and 10,000 hours to become great at something. These reps and hours are the preparation and hard work necessary for success. Many a failure and lack of reaching goals is due to lack of preparation; doing the goal-setting, primary repetition/practice, and other things to prepare for the venture.

Youngsters have the very best opportunities. Whether it be in the class room, social scene, or on the athletic field, youth have the toughness, intelligence, time, and will to prepare for success. Taking the time to prepare with passion and goals will teach you to work hard for what you wish to accomplish. Russell Wilson(Seahawk QB) believes that “the separation is in the preparation” and Muhammed Ali’s mantra was “the fight is not won in the ring, but at 4 am each morning running behind a truck” You win with preparation!

For young athletes, the off-season is most important and affords a time to prepare for the coming season. This does not mean that you limit yourself to one sport, but that you maintain the overall mind set of the sport you going to play. Baseball players should set goals(daily, monthly, etc) for the coming season with a realistic work regimen/routine to accomplish these goals. The best plan is to do a “little something” each day in order to refine a skill set or fulfill a goal/objective. You can find the time as it does not take much to work on conditioning, strength, skill sets, or reviewing vision or mental drills. Essentially, if you maintain good physical shape, keep your arm “warm” and “eyes on the ball”, you will prepare properly for the coming season.

Preparation for baseball/softball in the off-season should include:

  1. Have an EYE EXAM!!! Two every year!!!!!
  2. Proper nutrition: Eat “5 colors” at each and every meal(foods, not condiments or additives). Lots of protein, fruit, and veggies. Limit soda pop, sugar items, “fast foods”, and eliminate seeds and energy drinks.
  3. Sleep 8 or so hours each and every night. HYDRATE.
  4. Take 5 or so minutes(twice a day) and stretch, jump rope, do pull ups, push ups, sit ups, etc.
  5. RUN! RUN! RUN! Mix short dashes with longer runs. Running the foul poles on a regulation diamond.
  6. Throw: Keep the arm “warm” by throwing 3-5 times per week for 10-15 minutes. Do lunges and throw long toss 2-3 times.
  7. Hit: Work on vision drills, use mirror drills and do tee work to keep your stroke. Focus on “short and quick” to the ball. 20-25 swing per day.
  8. Do strength drills: rollups, hands in rice, etc: see #3.
  9. Learn the rules of the game and research your position(s). Know the game.
  10. Prepare and take care of all of your equipment: oil glove, need new bat?, keep you gear bag up to date, etc.

Water boils at 212 degrees and at 211 degrees it does not…be the one that goes the extra degree with proper preparation. Remember, success is simply a matter of luck, just ask any failure!

Get to work now!! Sit down, write it down, and get down to work! Procrastination and rationalization are barriers to overcome. Your mind set should be “I can do it” and “I will make the effort” to prepare. Many do not live their dream(s) because inside we tend to believe that it is people, things, situations outside of our control that are to blame; i.e. not tall enough, do not have the money, dad is not the coach, race, not smart enough, poor social standing, too young, etc. NOT SO…that is “garbage in, garbage out”(GIGO)..just another lie to yourself. Preparation will lead to success in anything you try to accomplish!!

JUST DARE TO PREPARE!!!!

How prepared was Ted Williams before every game? He would call the park to see which way the wind was blowing(out or in), who was pitching for the other team, and who was the plate umpire for the game!

He Dared to Prepare..how’d that work?