With the playoffs approaching, it is often the mental mistakes that make the difference between winning and losing.  Below are tips on how to stay mentally sharp during those critical moments.

4 Mental Skills for Pregame Mental Preparation for Baseball

Baseball players spend hours doing batting practice, fielding ground balls, and doing strength and conditioning, but how much time is dedicated to getting prepared mentally?

Many baseball and softball coaches tell us their players performed poorly because “they lost their heads” or “psyched themselves out,” which suggests that mental preparation in baseball is a huge key to success.

Mental preparation can determine the outcome of a game…

Players who feel confident, focused, and ready are more likely to start the game well and this can lead to momentum. And you know what momentum can do for your team.

Without pregame mental preparation, your mind is open to random pregame thoughts, including doubt, second-guessing, and even small, insignificant distracted from fans, mistakes, or your opponents.

Here’s a common scenario…

John expects to have the perfect game and not make any mistakes. He thinks this mindset will help him play better.

But the reality is that it hurts his game. When John does not achieve his expectations, he gets frustrated and doubt can set in: “Why am I 0-2 at the plate today?”

How can YOU mentally prepare for baseball games?

Your pregame warm up routine is the perfect time to get your mind right for the game. This is a time to build confidence, get focused, and fine tune your level of intensity. Every time you step on the field, you want to have a calm, confident mindset.

What are the mental skills you should include?

First, you want to have a mental routine you do prior to each game.

  • During the routine, you want to let go of outcome expectations,
  • Be proactive with your confidence,
  • Park distractions in your life and enter the role of the athlete,
  • Focus on one-pitch-at-a-time, and
  • Stop practicing and become the performer.

Your pregame mental preparation does not guarantee team success, but it will help you get into a mindset to improve your performance and consistency.