Why is it...
...if every ballplayer and coach knows how important the head game is in baseball - not just strategy, but confidence and commitment, and having the right positive attitude, the right mindset - why, then, is so little time taken up in team and individual practice on mental training?
The answer, of course, is because it seems like such a gray area (no pun intended). Most of all, perhaps it's because few people have the tools and skills to take on the challenges of mental training in a way that actual works for baseball.
We hope that the articles below by leading experts on mental training will give you some of the tools you need to approach your performance better equipped to handle the pressure of competition. But first we start with a very unique lesson series...
Players can be their own worst enemy. A pitcher on the mound can go from throwing the right pitch every time, to having a complete meltdown in which he simply can't find the strike zone. And hitters have it even worse - a whole sub-industry has built up around the challenges in a hitting slump. Why? Why do we fail like this? What is missing in the process that keeps us from conquering the blockages in our brain that so badly mess up our performance?
This lesson series explores the parts of the brain engaged in processing baseball events, the signals generated and the paths they take from brain to body. Techniques and tips will help you conquer the blockages and create a fully functioning brain for baseball.
Dr. Tom Hanson is a rare breed, a practicing psychologist who specialize in sports and who was also a college baseball coach. That makes him, we feel, uniquely equipped to provide not only good advice, but in the right context for baseball. Look for his series of articles to continue to expand, and for more direct ways you can tap into his experience and mentoring programs through WebBall.
Tom Hanson programs you can buy...
Part pitching instructor with an emphasis on the healthy arm, Alan Jaeger is also a spiritual mentor focused on teaching his students how to find the right focus and stay in the zone. He refers to it as 'finding your process'. What Alan does which is so unique is to find the meeting point between eastern Zen philosophy and the western world of baseball. It is just one of the reasons why he is both a leading pitching instructor for players, but is also a mentor to other pitching instructors.
A performance enhancement specialist to collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes, as well as a motivational speaker, Jim Murphy is also the mental skills coach for Baseball Player University (Fox Sports Net). He obtained a degree in psychology while playing pro baseball, has since received a Masters in Human Kinetics (Coaching Science), and is a CSCS. Author, presenter, and video creator, Jim is currently working on his next book on "Inner Excellence" while working with elite athletes across North America.
For the physical side of Jim's advanced training programs...
More Tips on the Head Game
We've pulled together links to some other pages and articles on WebBall that support or extend the advice given above.
Check for other tips under coaching and playing that will also help your mental game. Above all, have a good season.