Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Do you see yourself succeed?

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Mental Side

 The title may sound like a strange question to ask a player but the answer can be very revealing about why a player may not be reaching his full potential.  I’m probably not going out on a limb here when I say all baseball players lie in their bed and dream of being in the major leagues.  It probably goes like this.  7th game of the World Series, 2 outs, bases loaded, bottom of the 9th inning, the fans are going nuts, your team is down by three runs, and the announcer says “Now batting, <YOUR NAME> !”  The crowd, of course, goes even more crazy!

The important question is … how did that scene turn out in your mind?  People assume that everyone pictures themselves hitting the walk-off homerun to win the series.  But that assumption would not be accurate.  Some people consistently see themselves fail when they dream of these things.  I’m sure the reasons why this happens can get pretty complicated but you can probably imagine the harm if players always or even mostly see themselves fail. 
Sports psychologists would be very interested in asking an athlete that question because that is an area that can be improved upon with some training and practice.  There has been numerous studies done that provide compelling evidence that physically practicing a new skill combined with correct imagery training improves that skill quicker than if the player just physically practiced the skill. The key word in that sentence though is “correct” imagery training.  Always seeing yourself performing the skill or technique perfectly is the “correct” method. 
 If a player falls in the category of someone who frequently sees himself fail when he visualizes, there are strategies that can be practiced to change this around.  I’ll give some specifics in a later post but the process basically involves recognizing when it is occurring and then redirecting the image to one with a positive outcome.
Imagery and visualization can be very powerful techniques for baseball players but only if the player sees himself succeeding and doing everything fundamentally correct.

Have you used imagery training?  Shoot me an email and tell me how you’ve done it and the results!  In the meantime, below is a link to some basic information on sports imagery.

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