How do you build confidence in baseball?
That's the most common question that I see in my inbox.
I believe it's because we know that we're good when we're confident.
So the question really is "How do we create more confidence"?
Here's exactly how to do it:
- Redefine your definition of success
- Go into "I don't care what I hit" mode
- Have an Opening Day Mentality
- Have an attainable goal to help your team win
1. Redefine your definition of success
Repeat after me. "The batting average is EVIL".
After 30+ years in pro ball as a player, coach, and scout, I believe the biggest mind screw for hitters is trying to achieve a high batting average.
You step in the box and hit the ball right on the screws but you hit it right at someone.
You beat the pitcher. The pitcher knows you beat him. The pitcher's mom knows you beat him, but it was a line-out.
You take a turn back to the dugout.
Since your batting average went down because you didn't get a hit, your confidence goes down with it.
2. Go into "I don't care what I hit" mode
NO MORE! This can't happen.
The day we say "I don't care what I hit" is the day you start playing with less tension, pressure and anxiety and more confidence, toughness, and focus.
We have to change what we think success is from getting hits to hitting the ball hard.
We have to make are goals attainable.
We have to be a better competitor than we are a ballplayer.
Hit ball hard YOU win. If you get a hit it's a bonus.
3. Have an Opening Day Mentality
When are you the most confident?
The first game of the year right?
Because there's no yesterday getting in the way of today.
As a hitter, your job is to get a good pitch to hit while taking a controlled-violent swing.
It will be really hard to do that if your mind is on yesterday's bad at-bats.
We have to wipe the slate clean.
New game, new pitcher, new chance to be the hero.
Opening day, every day.
Have an attainable goal to help your team win.
4. Have an attainable goal to help your team win
Where does performance anxiety come from? It comes from making it about you.
Baseball is the BIGGEST self-esteem destroying sport in the world.
If you don't learn how to be a great competitor and even better teammate, you will underachieve.
Play this game to help your team win, and watch the pressure disappear.
Build your players up every chance you get.
It's funny often I hear from a player who said they lead the league in Quality At-Bats but also lead the league in hits and batting average.
Funny enough - I'm trying to help you achieve your highest batting average...
...but you have to learn how to get out of your own way.
Change what you think success is.
Develop a mental game.
Get great at competing with 100% confidence.
Make it about helping your team win.
The stats will take care of themselves.
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