The Lending Coach

Coaching and teaching - many through the mortgage process and others on the field

Going Mental: Embrace Sports Psychology to Manage In-Game Stress

The psychology of baseball is fascinating, and I’ve linked to many articles over the past 6 years regarding its importance.

I’m linking to an article from Jared Wyllys of The Sporting News on how Major League players have embraced this new idea and have flourished.

You can find that article here….

All players spend plenty of time on the field working on their physical craft – hours of batting practice, fielding practice and bullpen work.  But what about practicing the mental game?  I think that’s something that’s not done enough.

I highly recommend the read for all players, as there are tons of examples of how big-league ballplayers use their mind to enhance their game.

Here are some other articles that I’ve written over the years that might come in handy:

Choosing The Right Mortgage Loan Originator

Whether a borrower is making a home purchase or refinancing their current mortgage, choosing the right mortgage loan originator is critical to their success.

The right lender is a crucial part of the purchase process…but how do you know if the loan originator is an expert and understands your needs and financial situation?

In this article, we’ll go over several ways to identify how borrowers can identify a great home financing partner.

Purchasing a home is one of the most important transactions of our lives, so we need someone who can not only find a low interest rate, but understands the borrower’s financial situation and long-term goals.  The terms of the mortgage are going to impact the borrower’s household finances for years to come, so it’s important to find the right fit!

The right loan originator will help determine the mortgage program and term, as well as walk the borrower through that lengthy process.  Lenders should have experience in the local market and the type of transaction (primary residence, 2nd home, or investment property), as well.

Understanding the Local Market

It’s important that a borrower’s originator has knowledge of the community.  They should be able to offer personalized expertise and information unique to the area buyers are considering.

The lender should also have a good report with the borrower’s real estate agent and other real estate professionals.  This will give the buyer access to a resourceful network of inspectors, contractors, financial professionals, in their area.

With record-low mortgage rates and the increased demand for living space, coupled with the entrance of a large group of first-time home buyers, our market is expected to be tight for the foreseeable future.

Utilizing a local loan officer to help you navigate the home market, one who is focused on helping you make the best decisions for your financial situation and long-term goals, is crucial.

Access to a Variety of Mortgage Programs

There are always a number of factors that impact loan qualification – such as self-employment, student loan debt, and credit score, just to name a few. 

There truly is no one-size-fits-all mortgage, and you buyers should consider working with a loan originator that has access to multiple loan programs.

With that in mind, it’s critical that borrowers work with a local loan officer with access to a multitude of home loan programs that fit’s their scenario.  There are many types of loans out there, and it’s the lender’s responsibility to recommend the right product for the borrower’s needs.

A Trustworthy Lender

The borrower’s relationship with their loan officer shouldn’t end at closing. A reputable lender should be concerned with your overall purchase experience and ask for your feedback after the transaction.

The borrower should continue to rely on their lender as a resource for advice and expertise for all of their future real estate needs.

One way for a borrower to find out about the lender’s reputation is to check online reviews.  Both positive and negative ones should be readily available with a simple online search.  Check out Zillow or Social Survey to find out more about your chosen lender!

Long Term Perspective

Ultimately, the right originator should be a strong advocate and listener who will act in the borrower’s best interest throughout the process.

The right lender should ask many questions, be cooperative and willing to listen, plus really know the borrower’s financial situation and goals. Their communication must be top notch.

Purchasing a home might seem like a one-time thing, but that’s not the reality of purchasing real estate.  The right loan originator will be a partner for the long-term and shouldn’t take a one-time transactional approach.  It’s wiser to find a home financing partner for a lifetime.

It would be my pleasure to help any borrower for the long term! Please do reach out to me for more information or to discuss how I might be able to help.

Getting Ready: Infield Pre-Pitch Strategy

Great baseball defense demands great reflexes and quick thinking during the game…and that means having an infield pre-pitch strategy. Losing focus between pitches will lead to mental mistakes and fielding errors.

It is imperative that every fielder expects the ball to be hit to him on EVERY pitch.  Players can’t be surprised when the action is directed their way.

This is why it is extraordinarily important for an infielder to be ready for the ball at all times. A good infielder minimizes distractions by preparing himself before every pitch.

There are a few essential things players should be doing between pitches when on defense. This is called the Pre-Pitch Routine.

Here are two articles – one from USA Baseball and another from Colonial Baseball Instruction that highlight the importance of an infield pre-pitch strategy and go into great detail on having the right plan:

USA Baseball – Pre-Pitch Preparation for Infielders

Colonial Baseball Instruction – Coaching Pre-Pitch Routines

Secondly, I’m linking to a fantastic YouTube video from Elite Youth Baseball on the proper defensive pre-pitch footwork.

Defensive Pre-Pitch Footwork in Baseball

In the video, they break down and analyzing the proper pre-pitch footwork utilized by the best MLB defensive players in the game, as well as give some pointers on how to get young players to understand and incorporate this important fundamental into their game.

I’d invite all players to take a look at both of the articles and the video, as these tools are of ultra importance to development and solid defense.

UPDATE: New Home Sales and New Appreciation Numbers

New home sales, which measures signed contracts on new homes, were up 21% in March, and the February number was revised higher, as well.

Taking out the revision, sales would be up 32% from last month’s original number.

Sales are up 67% on a year over year basis, although that is a little bit skewed, due to the economy being shut down this time last year.

Looking at inventory levels – there were only 307,000 new homes for sale in March, down 7% from last year. There are 14% fewer homes for sale under $300,000 compared to last year. The Median home price was reported at $331,000 up not even 1% from last year.

Appreciation

Home prices continue to increase across the country, as the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index report showed a 12% annual gain in February — up from 11.2% in January.

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate nationally.

It’s the ninth straight month of increasing prices.  The 12% home price gain is the highest recorded increase in the last 15 years!

Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the highest year-over-year home price gains among the 20 cities in February, with Phoenix leading the way with a 17.4% increase from 2020. San Diego showed a 17% increase, and Seattle showed a 15.4% increase.

“Some recent signs suggest that the historically tight inventory pressures may finally be starting to ease,” said Zillow Economist Matthew Speakman.

“Should those signs materialize, the meteoric rise in home prices may finally have a reason to come back down to earth. For now, red hot home price appreciation shows few signs of cooling.”

Handling Slumps in Baseball

The dreaded hitting slump is something every baseball player wants to avoid. When the hits stop falling in it can bring a lot of frustration and added pressure.

As I’ve mentioned previously, one of my favorite mental coaches is Dr. Patrick Cohn of Peak Sports Performance. Dr. Cohn is a sports psychologist out of Orlando Florida.

He’s always preaching about mental preparation – as well as the techniques athletes can use to grasp it to improve performance…and handling a slump is right in his wheelhouse.

He sent out an e-mail blast recently that I’ve posted below regarding slumps in baseball – and how to best get through them.

Peterson’s Example

Here’s a portion of his piece, with a great example from Joc Peterson, the Chicago Cubs’ outfielder:

Chicago Cubs left fielder Joc Pederson utilized a mental cue to break out of his early season slump in 2021. Pederson had one of the best pre-seasons in the Major Leagues, hitting .372, 11 extra base hits and 7 homeruns in 17 games for the Cubs.

Unfortunately, Pederson started the regular season with a bit of a slump going 0-15 at the plate in his first few games. Pederson ended his little slump by hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

After the homerun, Pederson was awarded a waffle maker in the dugout by teammate Ian Happ. After the game, Pederson explained the meaning of the waffle maker.

PEDERSON: “We haven’t really been getting too many hits as a team. So I texted him and a couple of (other teammates) last night. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m bringing the waffle maker.’ You know, going to waffle some balls. It was pretty funny.”

The mental cue of a “waffle maker” kept Pederson focused in the present on what he wanted to do, “waffle some balls,” and not on the slump itself.

Cause and Effect

What is the main cause of slumps? Per Cohn, if a player was to look back at their past slumps or performance ruts, they would probably identify the inability to focus as the primary cause of staying stuck.

Yet, when most ballplayers are in the middle of a slump, they look for a physical or mechanical solution. Many players will take additional batting practice, work with their hitting coach, change up their mechanics, and even switch bats trying to get back on track.

Cohn states: “When you ruminate and replay strikeouts, failure to move runners, missed opportunities to drive in runs, and difficulty making contact with the ball, strong negative emotions arise and battle for your attention.

When you pay attention to all the distractions during an at-bat, your body tenses up and throws off your timing.

Breaking out of a slump requires you to change your thinking or what you focus on. For example, a mental cue is a verbal or visual reminder to narrow your focus on what you want to happen”

More from Dr. Cohn

You can find more from Dr. Cohn here:

Peak Performance Sports, LLC
Mental Training for a Competitive Edge
888-742-7225

https://www.baseballmentalgame.com/
https://www.peaksports.com

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