By Robert Bulka
Physical Vs Mental Skills
Ask any baseball fan what it takes to succeed as a baseball player and they usually talk about bat speed, arm strength, foot speed and power. You very rarely ever hear them mention the mental skills required to excel in the game. The important mental techniques include focus, concentration, confidence and composure. That is why it is important to start teaching baseball mental techniques early in a player's development.
Why is having the mental tools so important to making it in the game? All you have to do is look at the minor league farm clubs to see that the vast majority of players there have the physical skills needed to make it to the next level but don't have the cognitive skills to take them there.
How do you go about teaching baseball mental techniques?
There are some tips for developing the mental skills needed to make it to that elite level: teach visualization, use the 10 second rule and overcoming failure.
Visualization Since baseball is a game of adversity and failure is ever present, using visualization techniques help to clear the mind of negative thoughts, avoid distractions and provides a mental road map for the task at hand. Visualization is a very good baseball mental technique.
10 Second Rule Many young bright baseball stars lack the maturity to control their emotions and it takes them off their game. The 10 second rule is designed to help control the reactive emotional outburst of dissatisfaction. The tip is to count to 10 before you react or speak after a tense situation. This is a great tip when teaching baseball mental techniques.
Overcoming Failure As I stated before, baseball is a game of constant failure. If you get a hit thirty percent of the time you are considered an above average hitter. If you're a pitcher you are constantly dealing with walks, hits, home runs, past balls and errors committed by your teammates.
Teaching baseball mental techniques is an absolute necessity if you want to make it to the big leagues.
Robert Bulka is a former college baseball pitcher and current coach in the New York Metropolitan area. For more great tips for teaching kids how to play baseball go to http://TeachKidsBaseball.com
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