Success is never easy in any sport with the game of baseball arguably the most difficult of all. The skills of throwing, hitting and fielding require great precision that takes many years with perfection never a real possibility. Each year a player advances up a level in baseball, the mental preparation of a ballplayer becomes a greater need. By the time a player reaches the professional levels, the mental preparation is more important than the physical one to some extent. The best coaches are constantly working on the mental aspect of the game as well as the physical and realize that one without the other is a recipe for failure.
Most successful baseball players would say that the elusive success begins with confidence. Confidence is the inner peace in an athlete that allows them to believe that their skills are sufficient for the job at hand. It has a tendency to come and go in most ballplayers. The more times they have that self-assurance the easier it is for them to relax and concentrate, two important ingredients to get in the zone.
The next important key to having the mental preparation to succeed comes with the development of a mental routine. Some may say that is superstition with athletes, but it mostly involves creating some mental daily cues for games and even before each pitch of that game. The mental routine of professional ballplayers is a twenty-four-hour process, where players review the events of the past game, analyze them to see where they could have improved, before moving on to getting ready psychologically for the next game.
All of the mental preparation players do, leads to the ultimate goal of maximum focus once the game begins. The ultimate goal is what was mentioned earlier getting in the zone the mental state where players can slow the game down in their heads and react efficiently without seeming to ever have to think of what they are doing. That state of mind is another elusive thing for many, but something players can work to achieve.
Coaches can help players achieve the mental preparation necessary for advancement in the game. Here are the in-game techniques you can try to help your players stay in the moment and develop concentration.
The best coaches remain calm under intense game conditions and after mistakes. Playing is easier for youth when they don't have a fear of letting you down. Grilling and condemning players after gaffes hurt their concentration the next time.
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, coaching and parenting storiescreate 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 now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also findJack Perconte on YouTube withover 120 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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