How to be Mentally Tough in Baseball


The game of baseball is not just about the physicality of it, mental toughness is also an extremely important part of the game’s nature.  The sooner you understand and appreciate it, the faster you can improve your game.  But what kind of techniques would put your mind into the game and give you better control?  Try the following suggestions.

Your Senses

Putting your senses into play can help you achieve mental toughness.  What do we mean?  Have you ever heard of visualization techniques?  Seeing yourself do the things that you want or need to do in the game is almost the same as practicing it physically.  It does not matter if it involves hitting, pitching, catching, or throwing, seeing it in your mind helps you prepare for the possibilities during game time.

Now that you have a mental picture, let it all come alive by getting your other senses involved.  Smell the leather of your glove, the freshly cut grass, as well as the smell and taste of the food and drinks from the concession stand.  Finally, hear the crowd roar as you hit that home run or make that critical throw to end an inning.  This will help you create a mental picture and feel of the game in your mind to make you completely prepared.

What does it do for you to create this feeling?  The intensity of your emotions, the adrenalin pumping in your body, all of these are essentials to making huge plays and keeping your mental toughness.  And when you cement all of these into your memory you became mentally prepared for the game even before it begins.

Focusing on the Details

Everything that you do in practice is intended to prepare you for actual game play.  The same goes for creating mental toughness.  One of the key ingredients is learning how to focus on the details.  How is this done?  You have to be aware of the mechanics of your body from the gripping of the bat to the balanced extension and even every drop of sweat that you have.  What does this mean?  You need to learn how to close out the noise.

There will be instances where the game will not go the way you want it to.  This is the time when mental toughness is needed the most!  You cannot detach yourself from this negative situation unless you know how to focus on the essential details.  Begin to internalize what is happening, correct it mentally, and you will see that it will translate into your game.  Remember that errors affect both you and your team and unless someone starts to correct it and move forward, you will end up at the losing end.

Build a Routine

Starting to develop and follow a routine is what makes many ball players successful.  The same goes with building mental toughness.  Visualization routines can begin with small sessions that are specific to a certain play or situation.

Your body must remain relaxed and alert, which means keeping distractions away.  Create your game movie by putting your senses into play and keep it rolling until you get every detail implanted in your brain that you begin to think it is real.

Store this game movie in your mind and before every game take time to review and play it back.  This routine is synonymous to doing drills during practice to make you stronger and faster.  By reviewing the game movie in your mind you exponentially increase the possibility of doing what is right in actual field situations.

Why?  Because you are strengthening synaptic connections and responses by repeatedly telling your brain what should happen.  This means executing the right thing every time you are out on the field.

Now you have almost everything to create mental toughness.  All you have to do is to believe what you have put together by expecting that it will happen during real game.  Do not become your own worst enemy!

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