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Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

Hitters Need a Plan at the Plate

Becoming a successful hitter requires more than a quick bat and good hand eye coordination. It requires a specific approach to hitting and confidence in your ability to put the ball in play. The key to success at the plate is mental toughness and mental preparation. Great hitters do not have the same batting stance, physical talent or mechanics. What they do have in common is a plan at the plate and a strong belief in their ability to carry out that plan. One thing many hitters lack is an at-bat routine. Great hitters use at-bat routines to help […]

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Baseball Mental Training and Performance Enhancement

When people talk about baseball they usually mention the physical aspects of the sport such as, hitting, arm-strength, and power. The primary focus of athletes in the past has been to improve their physical game to compete at a higher level. The physical component of the game is so emphasized that a good handful of professional ball players began using illegal performance enhancement supplements to gain a competitive edge. The physical component of baseball is important, but it’s also highly overrated, especially in higher levels of competition. I say this because all professional ball players have the physical tools […]

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Dorfman’s Mental ABC’s of Pitching

Harvey Dorfman was a sports psychologist who counseled many of baseball’s most successful hitters and pitchers. Dorfman worked with major league baseball’s top athletes, and published prominent books on the mental aspects of baseball. Among his list of star clients are sluggers Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Cy Young Award-winning pitchers Greg Maddux, Bob Welch, and Roy Halladay. In 2000, Halladay set the record for highest ERA ever, among MLB pitchers (10.53) with a minimum 50 innings pitched. His performance continued to slump so he was sent not just to the minors, but all the way down […]

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Common Mental Game Challenges for Athletes

One of the hallmarks of great athletes is the desire to improve themselves. Athletes at all levels use mental training and sports psychology to become better athletes, and overcome their mental game challenges. Mental training helps athletes perform more consistently, find the zone more often, keep a winning streak alive, and learn how to think well under pressure. The first step of mental training is to identify the need to improve your mental game. Often times athletes are unaware of the mental barriers the limit their performance, and how mental training can help them meet their athletic potential. The […]

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The Fear of Striking Out

The Fear of Striking Out

Fear of failure is a common issue in sport psychology. Fear of failure is characterized by high expectations, a strong desire to success (and not fail), anxiety or tension, worrying too much about results or outcomes, social approval issues or worrying too much about what others think, and performing with a serious, controlled mindset. Are you afraid of striking out before and during your at-bat? Babe Ruth once said “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” Fear of striking out will cause you to get in your own way with fear, anxiety, tension, and worry […]

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Letting Go of Errors and Mistakes

Mistakes or errors occur every day in baseball, but many players don’t have the mental game that allows them to let go of errors and this hurts their chances for success. Errors such as missing a throw, botching a simple ground ball, striking out at the plate, or dropping a pop up occur all the time in baseball. Nobody is perfect, therefore errors are just another part of the game. However, these errors often become a huge mental barrier for athletes who cannot cope with mistakes, and as a result it affects their performance. In many cases, especially with […]

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Sport Psychology Lesson by The Phillies

One of the most powerful and simple mental game techniques I teach to help athletes and teams improve their performance is focusing on the process of preparing for and executing each play. When athletes and teams face high expectations, focusing on end results can cause undue pressure. Pressure can cause you to tighten up, have doubts, and over-analyze your performance. The Philadelphia Phillies have been to three consecutive National League Championship Series, and with the off-season addition of Cliff Lee expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for the whole team. Rather than get distracted by all the […]

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Team Cohesion Determines Team Success

You can be the most talented team in the world and still fail if you lack team cohesion. Also known as teamwork, team cohesion is an active process where players come together to achieve a common goal and remain united in pursuit of that objective. The Great Bambino once said: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth In order for teams to reach their true potential every […]

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How Stephen Strasburg Gets Into A Rhythm

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 […]

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Anticipating the Unexpected in Sports: Part 1

In game 1 of the American League Championship Series, the Texas Rangers broke out to a 5-0 lead over the New York Yankees. After six straight shutout innings the Yankees looked as if they were ready to throw in the towel. “They’re pitcher was rolling, but the last six, nine outs are the toughest to get. We know one pitch to another can change the momentum of the game,” said Former Texas Ranger, Alex Rodriguez. “We always say we have 27 outs,” said Robinson Cano, who had three hits and two RBI for the Yankees. “Until they get the […]

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