Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Training the mental side

November 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Mental Side

As we enter November and the leaves come down in my neck of the country, baseball players begin to come indoors to start their off-season training.  Getting stronger, quicker, and more flexible is usually the goal of most players heading into the gym.  But if you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you are well aware of my thoughts on the mental side of the game.  Practice and train for only the physical side and you are failing to train for a gigantic portion of success in the sport.

As players get older, success in the game becomes more a matter of how good they are on the mental side.  The ability to concentrate and focus, relax on command, control your body’s nervous system, and manage your thoughts correctly all play a major role in how much of a player’s physical ability will be brought out when it counts the most.  Quite a number of posts have been dedicated to these topics and more are on the way.


The most important thing for coaches and players to realize is that all these aspects of mental toughness can be taught, learned, improved, and practiced.  The saying, “Either a player is mentally tough or he is not”  just doesn’t cut it anymore with what we know about the science and study of sports psychology and peak performance.  It is true that different players may have a leg up in a few areas than others for a variety of reasons but it is flat out wrong to think that improvements cannot be made.   


There are many resources online and on book shelves to teach players and coaches how to go about identifying and addressing areas of weakness on the mental side of things.   Use the off-season to expand your knowledge in this area and if you are a player, make it a personal goal to do more to train that side of your game.  I guarantee that you will find the information and the improvements it will lead to worthwhile.

Comments

One Response to “Training the mental side”
  1. Darrell says:

    Coach,

    Thanks for hitting on the mental toughness can be taught message. The mental side of the baseball might be the most misunderstood in all of sports. There is so much that happens on every pitch that if you don’t truly understand the mental side you miss out on much of what makes baseball great.

    Great Post

    Thanks

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