The definition of poise is no different on the playing fields as it is in other aspects of life. The dictionary definition of poise says it well "a state of balance" because it relates not only to the mind but also to the body's state of balance.Poise is one of those things that many people recognize when they see itbut often cannot define it.
Another easier-to-understand definition of poise is "composure." It often seems like some athletes have it and others do not. That is true to a certain extent. The good news is that acquiring that state of balance is possible for all players through experience, along with the help of coaches.
My definition of poise attests to that state of balance, "A positive sense that one realizes they are in the right place, at the right time." Some athletes shy away from the spotlight in certain situations and games, whereas others feel as though "the moment is right for them" another good definition of poise.
Poise comes with knowing oneself. Athletes that have a good perception of what they are capable of do not overextend in difficult situations. In baseball, pitchers do not overthrow when the game is on the line and batters do not try to hit home runs and overswing. Composed players realize if they stay within themselves, good things usually follow.
Personal Experience of Poise
The greatest baseball play I ever made in my life was the result of poise showing up. The play was very routine. Playing second base, I roamed about fifteen feet to my left, got in front of the ball, caught it and made the thirty-foot toss to first base to record the out. What made the play so momentous for me was the circumstances. The Houston Astros had the bases loaded, two outs, ninth inning and my team the Los Angeles Dodgers were up by one run. Not only that, the game was nationally televised and we had to win to get within one game of the division lead with just one game remaining after it. What was so cool about it, was how nervous I felt up until that play. I was not scared of having the ball hit to me, but I didn't want it coming my way either.Suddenly, my mind seemed to relax, my focus was intense and in the moment. When the ball came my way, there was no hesitation and it was like any other ground ball in my life. Poise gives one the ability to slow things down in the heat of the action, and it came for me in the nick of time.
As mentioned earlier coaches can help players develop poise in a number of ways.
How coaches can help players develop that state of balance
Coaches help players with the following:
The Poise Positions
At the highest level of sports, a certain amount of poise is necessary for every player. It is especially essential for road games, when the opposing fans are not only loudbut often verbally abusive towards the visiting teams. Players must learn to tune out the distractions in order to concentrate on their tasks. Some positions require even greater amounts of composure. For example in:
Football Perhaps no position in sport requires the ability to tune everything out around them and think of what needs to be done, especially with 300 pound linemen out to rip their heads off, more than the quarterback position.
Baseball The baseball pitcher must repeat their mechanics pitch after pitch. To do that with the game on the line takes a great amount of composure.
Hockey and Soccer Of course, goalies have to be able to keep their cool the whole game, but with the one on one shootout they must really be able to zone in.
Basketball Game winning shots take guts, but the basic free throw with the opposing fans screaming and waving things in front of them requires great concentration.
All players develop at different rates, but coaches must believe that composure is possible for most athletes. The best coaches help them learn what poise is and ways to accomplish it.
Author of Article - Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years.His playing, coachingand parenting storieshelp create betterexperiences forathletes andparents.Jack has writtenover a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports.Jack is the author of "The Making of a Hitter" and "Raising an Athlete." His third book "Creating a Season to Remember" is in the works. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also findJack Perconte at YouTube withover 80 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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