In order for athletes to get the most out of their performance, it is critical for them to understand the value of develop a strong mental game to complement their physical abilities. Sport psychology professionals need to educate the sports community on the value of mental training by highlight the mental factors the limit and enhance athletic performance. These factors differ from player to player, but sport specific assessments can help professionals identify individual challenges.
The overall aim of mental training is to help athletes enter the zone by developing foundational mental skills that can help athletes enter the zone more frequently. It is impossible to play in the zone every game, but through mental training athletes can set the conditions for it to happen more often. Through mental training sport psychology professionals can help athletes and coaches understand the mental skills needed to achieve peak performance.
For example, players with a strong mental game become frustrated after making mistakes. Rather than getting scared and telling themselves they do not “have it,” they are able to maintain confidence and persevere in the face of adversity. Pre-performance routines can be applied to each position and task in baseball to improve focus and confidence. For example, a pitcher can use routines to find a rhythm, and a hitter can use routines to eliminate indecision or doubt and focus on relevant performance cues to help them succeed.
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