Source from Dr. Alan Golberg: Overcoming Performance Fears and Blocks – Baseball | Competitive Advantage: Mental Toughness
Repetitive Sports Performance Problems or RSPPs, a very common performance issue that lays waste to the careers of many talented ball players across all levels of the game. Occasionally an athlete will successfully work through this kind of problem by himself. More often than not, however, these problems will continually sabotage an self-confidence and ultimately drive him right out of the sport.
These repetitive performance problems are most often caused by past physically or emotionally upsetting events. For example, a physical injury like a collision, concussion, torn ligaments, pulled muscle, getting hit by a pitch or breaking a bone, or the upset can be emotional like committing an error that costs your team an important game, choking away a big performance opportunity, getting cut from the team or being screamed at and humiliated by your coach in front of your teammates and fans.
These upsetting events end up getting memorized and held in the athlete’s mind and body, long after the experience has been forgotten. If they’re in any way reminded of these upsets or the athlete is under pressure, then components from the original experience end up bubbling up into awareness.
What the athlete becomes aware of at that point is a loss of confidence or feeeling of danger inside. This sense of inner danger then triggers that athlete’s nervous system to automatically respond with self-protective motor programs, i.e. fight/flight. Suddenly the athlete can’t get himself to do what he knows how to do. He loses his velocity on the mound and can’t get the bat off of his shoulders!