Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Adrenaline dumps

January 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Hitting, Mental Side

In stressful situations, the body dumps adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream.  Both are extremely powerful hormones that basically get our body ready to fight.  Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure goes up, our breathing becomes more rapid, our analytical mind is less effective, etc.  

When stress hits, your body will revert to what you have taught it.

When stress hits, your body will revert to what you have taught it.

 

The problem is that the body does not recognize the difference between a real threat or a perceived threat.  Whether it’s a person about to attack us or the bottom of the last inning – bases loaded – tie game – and you’re batting – situation, your body basically reacts the same way.  It dumps adrenaline into the system.

When that happens, your body will automatically revert to the functioning that it has mastered.

Here is what I mean.  Batter A practices on his own and masters the good mechanics of a swing.  In times of anxiety (playoff game – two outs – base loaded, etc.) his mind will become less analytical and his muscles will essentially go on autopilot.  Whatever his muscles have learned, they will repeat.  Since he has taught his muscles well, Batter A can function well even in times of stress and anxiety.

Batter B has not taught his muscles so well.  He is lazy in practice and does not focus on doing every mechanic correctly.  He would rather save his energy and focus for the game.  When a high stress situation occurs, his body will revert to what it knows best.  Unfortunately for Batter B, that means going through the motions and not doing the correct mechanics.  

It is virtually impossible to mimic the stress of a big game in practice.  However, if hitters are fanatical about doing everything right all the time then the muscles will know what to do, even in stressful situations when the adrenaline is flowing.

Tomorrow’s post: Throwing with signals 

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