Five Ways to Mentally Prepare for a Baseball Game
The anxious feeling before a game can affect and reflect your performance; it is essential to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the big day. Think of it as a way to manage your stress and build up your Confidence! Here are five practical ways for you, as an athlete, to mentally prepare for a game.
Meditation is a great way to clear the mind and re-focus thoughts. It allows you to de-stress and be more aware of your surroundings. Meditation can be beneficial before a game because it can help you get a clear focus of what you need to do to reach that goal of a win. Many MLB players have meditation as one of their pre-game prep techniques! The act of meditating has a lot to do with deep breathing and releasing any tension within your body. It is a way to center yourself, and athletes might find this soothing before an anxious game.
The best part about meditation is that it can be performed anywhere for any amount of time-based on your preference. You can meditate the night before or the day of the game. Adding this to your daily routine could be even better!
Building up your Confidence before the game
It is all about the Confidence within! Athletes perform to their best ability when they feel good and believe that they can achieve anything. This feeling comes from that strong Confidence. It can be hard to gain that Confidence when the anxiety kicks in before a game but building it up mentally, can be helpful.
Having the mindset and saying words to yourself and the team such as “I CAN do this,” “I GOT this,” and “I WILL do my best” can affirm and secure this for you. It is just like that saying, “She believed she could, so she did.” If you can believe that you have what it takes to fulfill the goals you set for yourself, then the chances are, you WILL do it.
Sometimes it can even help to picture yourself winning the game or performing well. Envisioning yourself can allow you to gain that Confidence because you mentally tell yourself that what you have imagined can be a possibility. The power of words and visualization can surprise you. Give this a try!
Let go of the expectations and be in the present
This one is very significant! Before a game, it is easy to get carried away worrying about what is expected from you. High expectations can come from your coach, team, family, friends, fans, the general public, or even yourself. It is good to push yourself continuously, but at the same time, having these expectations can weigh you down during a game and can take a toll on your performance. Pressure can lead to stress, and that is one thing to be avoided. However, the best thing to prevent yourself from thinking about these expectations is to be more in the present. Focus on the now and what you can do to get to where you need to be in the next five, 10, or 20 minutes.
The key is not to overthink the future outcomes but rather to be in the moment with what is currently going on. This goes hand-in-hand with meditation. Meditation, as mentioned before, helps keep the mind focused and alert to your current surroundings. Keeping your mind focused on the present will allow you to see what is needed to be reached clearly. It is easier said than done, but with the help of meditation, it is possible.
Make sure to acknowledge and accept the nervousness you might feel
For many of us, the feeling of being nervous is something we might want to shut out immediately or ignore. However, the best way to deal with this feeling is to acknowledge and understand it.
To think of being nervous positively might be unusual; however, there is a twist to it. The chances of why you become anxious before and during a game are because the stakes are high. You know that this game might open up more doors of opportunity for you, and It can be a make-or-break situation depending on how you perform. But when you recognize the reasoning behind why you feel this way, you will realize that you are put in a position of potential endless opportunities, which does not sound so bad, right? Being excited for what can come from the game while keeping your body and mind focused will be more beneficial instead of time-fighting this feeling. Use nervousness to prove what you are capable of accomplishing anything; this can be a method to motivate yourself. However, the good news is, this feeling usually tends to go away during the game, so after that first pitch, you might not even have to worry!
Study the scouting report and arrive early to make sure you are the most prepared!
What would we do without those scouting reports! This is a golden ticket to make sure you are prepared for your next move. A scouting report provides general and detailed information that can help analyze the team’s work. Sometimes there might be a report on the opponents; this can help you prepare your approach towards them when the game begins. Going into something with a plan is always better than being blindsided, and these scouting reports are the perfect way to get an idea of what you could be in for.
Making sure you arrive early to the game and give yourself time to prep is a good routine to have. When you arrive early, you are already mentally telling yourself that you are ready! This also lets you make sure you are hydrated, skim through the report one more time, meditate, or do some quick warm-ups.
It is always a great feeling to take a breather and get a feel of the field you will soon play in!
Be sure to check out Ryan Weiss's coaching program and his other training programs to elevate your game.