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

Category: Baseball (Page 1 of 12)

Stay Positive On The Field – Don’t Re-Visit Negatives

As you probably know by now, 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 toughness – as well as the techniques athletes can use to grasp it.

He sent out an e-mail blast recently that I’ve posted below regarding eliminating negative thoughts regarding past performance – and how to best get past it.

For instance, you whiffed the last two at-bats swinging at balls in the dirt and now you are facing the same pitcher with a runner in scoring position, “Here we go AGAIN!”

Or you walked the bases loaded and are having difficulty with your control and are now facing a hitter that has torched you in the past, “Here we go AGAIN!”

Or your team has blown the lead in the ninth inning the last two games and now you are clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom on the ninth, “Here we go AGAIN!”

This is a common problem among baseball players, but this mindset is based on a misconception. This misconception happened in the past will continue to happen in the present.”

It is an over generalization to believe the past will repeat itself but many baseball players, in the moment, buy into the “here we go again…” mindset.

When you allow past outcomes to influence your mindset in the present, the pressure heightens, which creates anxiety and tension.

Playing anxious and tight ball is a recipe for athletic disaster and under-performance.

In Action

The San Francisco Giants could have easily defaulted to the “here we go again” mentality after a breakdown against the Texas Rangers.

The Giants started out the first game of a three-game series against the Rangers with a tough game, blowing a six-run lead to lose in extra-innings at home.

To add to the potential pressure, the Giants had lost 10 of the previous 13 at their ballpark.

The San Francisco Giants had to quickly re-focus in Game 2 of their series.

The Giants quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead but gave up three runs in the eighth inning.

Despite similar circumstances, the Giants fought forward and San Francisco relief pitcher Mark Melancon closed out the game with the bases loaded to secure a 5-3 win over Rangers.

Hunter Pence, who had a pinch-hit home run in the seventh, talked about their “keep attacking” mindset rather than succumbing to the “here we go again” mindset.

AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PENCE: “It’s very important to continue to send that message of relentless attack. Even where we are and as clouded as it may seem, you still never know. When there’s still a chance in this game of baseball, things can get hot in an instant.”

Knowing there is a chance is a great strategy to keep your head in the game and avoid the pitfall of “here we go again.”

Keeping Your Head in the Game

Knowing you have a chance comes in many forms:

*Knowing there is a chance to still win.

*Knowing there is still a chance to bounce back the next game.

*Knowing there is still a chance to hone your skills and improve your game.

*Knowing you can learn from the past and adjust.

If you can adopt the “there’s still a chance” mindset, you can focus on making things happen in the moment.

Let go of what’s already happened, look for signs to build momentum, and get things moving in a positive direction. Instead, take a trip down memory lane to when you did drive in that run!

Baseball Dynamic Warm-Up | Flexibility and Stretching

One of the major performance enhancers for baseball players is muscular flexibility – and I bet that’s the last thing that players work on.  Players take loads of batting practice, fielding practice, do long toss – and spend a great amount of time on strengthening on the field and in the weight room.

But what about flexibility to both improve performance and prevent injury?

Well, I’m linking to a KBands Training article that outlines a great warm-up stretching protocol that all baseball players should check out here – Baseball Dynamic Warm Up – Flexibility and Stretch

I’d invite you to check out the video, as well!

Here’s an excerpt:

“All baseball players need to warm up properly before performing high impact activities or speed and agility training. Static stretching was considered the norm in the past, but in recent years static stretching has become an addition to the everyday dynamic stretch routine.”

“Baseball players must stretch their hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, trunk, glutes, IT bands, groin, and upper body. Each and every muscle throughout the body is used to maximize a baseball player’s performing potential”

10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Game

Athletes do all sorts of physical things to prepare for competition…from nutrition, weight training, sport-specific drills and all sorts of other things.

But what about mental preparation?  Are you taking the time to develop a strong mental game that gives you an advantage over your competition?

I’m linking to an article from one of my favorite mental game teachers, Dr. Patrick Cohn of Peak Sports Performance. Dr. Cohn is a sports psychologist out of and he’s always preaching on how to build mental toughness – as well as the techniques athletes can use to grasp it.

I’d invite you to read the entire piece here…

Here are Dr. Cohn’s top 10 ways to improve the mental game:

  1. Pushing past the discomfort of a hard training session.
  2. Maintaining a positive attitude when you experience a rough patch during your season.
  3. Ignoring distractions and keeping your focus during grueling competitions.
  4. Sustaining motivation throughout a long season.
  5. Bouncing back after a mistake in competition.
  6. Rehabbing from injury and readying yourself for your return to competition.
  7. Managing your competitive emotions especially when playing in hostile environments or playing against opponents who try to taunt you.
  8. Being confident when your performance is not up to par.
  9. Overcoming comfort zones in sports and breaking out.
  10. Coping with high expectations from others to perform well.

Dr. Cohn has put together a free online e-book that can be found here: http://www.peaksports.com/baseball-softball-confidence-report/

If you are a player, or parent of a player, I’d recommend that you download it and get to know the contents!

The Mental ABCs of Pitching

H.A. (Harvey) Dorfman’s book – The Mental ABCs of Pitching: A Handbook for Performance Enhancement – is one of those classic mental game pieces.

My friend Jordan Zimmerman (ZB Velocity) turned me on to Dorfman’s book, as he said it helped him become a mentally strong pitcher and was crucial to his success as a professional pitcher.

He still uses it today in his teaching…he told me he keeps going back to his highlighted and dog-eared copy.

Here’s the Amazon link, and I highly recommend that pitchers pick up a copy!

Brief Biography

Dorfman was best known as an mental skills/sports psychology coach who worked in education and psychology as a teacher, counselor, coach, and consultant. Prior to starting a business as a mental skills coach. he also wrote for a local paper, taught English, and coached basketball at Burr and Burton Academy in Vermont.

He earned World Series Championship rings by serving as a mental skills coach for the 1989 Oakland A’s and the 1997 Florida Marlins. In 1999, Dorfman became a full-time consultant teaching the skills of sport psychology and staff development for the Scott Boras Corporation, an agency that represents professional baseball players.

Through his books and his teaching experience, he helped thousands of people get more of what they wanted from life through his tough love and clear insight. Some baseball greats give him credit for their success in life as well as in baseball.

Editorial Reviews

When Harvey left our organization to go work for Florida, we didn’t even try to replace him because, quite frankly, his legacy was already throughout our system. All of the players and coaches and staff he touched over the years… had become imbued with his philosophy and approach to the game. They have become Harvey’s disciples.

-SANDY ANDERSON, former President and General Manager, Oakland Athletics, former Executive Vice President, Office of Major League Baseball, currently General Manager, New York Mets.

When you talk to Harv, you get the truth from him, whether you like it or not. He always says, ‘I don’t care about your feelings. I care about your actions.’

-TIM BELCHER, former Major League Pitcher and Pitching Coach.

He’s truly amazing. It’s clear most people don’t want to hear the truth about themselves, but Harv gets in your face, uses a few choice words to get your attention, and he’s got you.

-AL LEITER, former Major League Pitcher, currently Studio Analyst and Commentator.

Harv is absolutely unique. He’s for real – a straight shooter. He gives it to you right on the line, whether you like it or not. Not many people can – or will – do that.

-WALT WEISS, former Major League All-Star Shortstop, currently manager of the Colorado Rockies.

Baseball Training During Your Covid-19 Off-Season

This has been an absolutely crazy year for sports, considering all that’s happened with the Coivd-19 pandemic. 

I feel terrible for all of the players who have had their season cancelled – this is unlike anything we have ever seen in our lifetimes.

Considering these circumstances, players must continue to work and get better, even though there may not be organized activities.

With that in mind, I’m linking to a fantastic piece by Brandon Voth and Robin Heilskov  on how to handle this unexpected sabbatical.  They have plan outlines and video and you can find all of that here…

Photography © 2019 olivejuicestudios.com. All rights reserved.

“As health care providers, we see this as a perfect opportunity for athletes to focus on proper pre-season preparation, injury prevention, and optimizing your baseball performance.”

Photography © 2019 olivejuicestudios.com. All rights reserved.

“In order to reduce the incidence of overuse injuries in youth baseball players, focus on 3 key areas: safe management of pitching volumes, baseball-specific exercise to improve mobility and strength, and correct improper techniques.”

Again, do check out their site and pass it on to others!

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