We are always happy to find expert coaches who believe strongly in teaching and coaching the mental side of the game along with they physical.
Today we want to introduce you to an expert in baseball coaching tips, Jack Perconte and share with you his article on Mental Baseball Tips That Coaches Should Be Telling Their Players….
As we all know, there is both a mental and physical side to sports. Mastering both is critical to achieving peak performances. The more superior an athlete is, the higher ceiling will be for their success.
Players though, who are less physically gifted can still compete with the best, when they learn to be mentally strong. By putting the two together – talent and mental strength, players are able to reach their highest potential. It is not always an easy for most players, because it takes discipline and focus.
Having good coaching can make all the difference in players’ careers. Having worked with athletes for many years, I realize that it has to be a never-ending process of building up the mental side of ball players.
No players have constant success, even the best ones, so building players self-esteem and confidence, should be a constant goal of the baseball coach.
I believe there is no tougher sport than baseball, because failure is such a big part of the game of baseball. Even the best players in the world make many more outs than hits over the course of the season.
Support from adults and coaches can be crucial to developing mentally tough players. Over time, this mental support builds up players’ abilities to handle adversity, as well as build confidence, aggressiveness, focus and the love of the game.
The following are some of the moral support statements and mental baseball tips that baseball coaches should be passing on to youth ballplayers to help players with their mental game.
Mental Baseball Tips
“That’s part of the game” – This may sound simple and obvious, but it is so important when ballplayers inevitably struggle. It helps kids understand that certain baseball events happen all the time to everybody, not just to them. They have to learn to get used to “that’s part of the game” in order to handle adversity. Statements like “Hang in there,” “You’ll get them next time,” and “Things will change” all express the same things.
“See or Concentrate on the ball” – This statement puts the player in the “here and now” and keeps them from the “what might happen” frame of mind. This is important so kids can “Stay focused” on the task at hand and helps them concentrate through any fears they may have. It also helps them keep their mind off of the mechanics and focus on the ball, where it should be.
Confidence in Sports
“You can do it” – these words can be very empowering when used in a positive way. Kids need to know that coaches believe in them and a statement like this tells kids that.
Trust in Ability
“That’s why you practice, so you don’t have to think during the game” – it takes a while for kids to get to this point, but those who develop their instincts and talent and allow those to take over during the action, get in the zone and succeed the most.
Fear of Failure
“You are like me, I was always nervous when I played,” or “I have been there too, it will get better” are statements that let kids know that you have the background, experience and empathy to deal with their fears. Fear of injury and fear of failure are real and coaches who can speak from experience help kids with those fears.
“You can only control two things, your preparation, and your effort, not the outcome” – All baseball players should be reminded of this constantly, because of the frustration and difficulty involved in the game. Players, who prepare and give their best effort, come to realize that they are usually rewarded with good game results, but also realize that there are no guarantees in sport.
Strive for Excellence
“The more you practice this the correct way the better your chances of succeeding” tells kids that it is “Perfect practice that makes perfect” and not just any practice. Attention to detail is necessary for long-term success.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it” puts it all in perspective and helps kids understand that it is hard to get good and especially great. Success is not automatic. Along the same lines, I often find myself saying, “Even the best in the world struggle at this,” to reassure my players.
“Your goal is not to prove anything to anyone, but to improve,” is important for kids to realize they should be playing for themselves, team, and love of the sport. Playing just to prove something to others leads to disappointment and shallow feelings in the end.
“You are one play away from putting it all together, so stay ready” is one of the most important ideas you can share with your players. It gives players hope, which is so necessary when confidence is lacking.
Mental Toughness Academy comments:
It is critical that the players hear positive messages on a regular basis from their coaches so they can start to internalize them for themselves. It also encourages them to repeat those same words of encouragement to their teammates.
These suggestions not only work for coaches, but youth sports parents as well!
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball for twenty-four years. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching skills advice. Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter & Raising an Athlete
For more baseball coaching and “how to” play baseball information go to www.baseballcoachingtips.net