Baseball players like to get into a certain rhythm. Pitchers and batters alike go through a routine to get into that rhythm to help them reach peak performance. Washington National’s pitching phenom, Stephen Strasburg, prefers to feel a good rhythm on the mound. “I like to keep the same tempo throughout the game. When I get out of rhythm, or speed up a little, it affects my focus. I just got to remember to stick to my routine before each pitch. This helps me keep the same rhythm and focus no matter what happens,” said Strasburg.
Why is it important to find your rhythm and follow a routine?
Routines are important to help players prepare for the upcoming pitch or hit. Athletes prepare physically for the upcoming pitch or hit by getting warmed up and stretching, but it is equally important to prepare mentally as well. To perform your best you must be mentally prepared in the right frame of mind before you step up to the plate, or out on mound. This means being confident and focus, as well as trusting your ability to perform successfully.
Performance routine will help you embrace a confident, focus, and trusting mindset. Likewise, when you don’t follow your routine, it can cause you to lose focus, confidence and trust in your game.
You can get into a rhythm several different ways. You might tap your bat on the plate and shift your weight a couple of times. While you’re getting into a rhythm, you might be visualizing your strategy for the next pitch or hit.
Mentally prepare yourself while you are warming up physically. You’ll want to find out what’s the best rhythm for you before the game and have everything in place, so your routine comes naturally to you.
You might not always follow the same routine or stay in the same rhythm. Mistakes and bad calls can get players out of their rhythm. When this happens they become frustrated causing them to rush their routines or skip altogether.
Routines direct your focus on what’s important. When you skip or speed up your routine, you can start to focus on what’s not important, such as your last strike. The key is to recognize when you’re out of your rhythm, and take an extra second to regroup.