While playing the game of baseball I realized how hard it was for me to succeed in the game. I’ve learned in high school that no matter who much you practice or train, the most important aspect to build in the how to play the game mentally. I came to realize this because during my sophmore year in high school when it appeared to my peers and coaches that I had the physical and skills to play but lacked the mental attitude to play. My coach recommended the book “The Mental Game of Baseball” written by well known sports pyschologist H.A. Dorfman. After reading and applying the principle of that book, I became a whole new baseball player.
During my sophmore year in high school, I was the team’s starting 1st baseman. I worked hard in practice, showed tremendously good potential when practicing, but I could never manage to put all my skills together on the baseball field. It was pretty evident since, I made 8 errors and batted .100 during the first ten games of the season. Thereason I felt that I wasn’t performing well was because I felt I had to impress everyone. As a first baseman, I felt tremendous pressure to make all the play because I account for 70 percent of the outs. If I made one error it could set back our team. As a hitter, I put to much emphasis of trying to get a hit so I’ll still be kept in a lineup. I know I needed help on my mental aspect of the game. As a high school student, it would be pretty difficult to afford a sports psychologists. I purchased the book “The Mental Game of baseball.” It was more affordable to read the works of a sports psychologist than going to one.
While reading the book, I learned to become a better baseball player. The book states 80percent mental, 20 physical. As a defensive first baseman I learned to have better preparation, concentration, visualize, and think in a positive way. With preparation, I had to practice more on ground ball, catching the ball, coming in on balls, and other defensive work. Using Concentation, I had the ability to concentrate on every pitch and be alert the entire game. With visulazing, I pictured myslef making the plays and having success. This method is very important because the brain pictures itself making these plays thus giving more confidence and ability to the player when playing. As a positive thinker is to think of what to do and how to do it, rather than thinking everything will work out to his satisfaction.
With this book, I became a hitter. This book taught me how to be sharp mentally as a hitter. I developed a Pre-game plan, and that was to see the ball as well as possible. I used to self talk and relaxation techniques before my at-bats. During my at-bats, I became mentally ready on every pitch, every situation. I made every a.b. a tough one. I was mentally prepared to hit because I was a postive thinker instead of a negative one. The results showed as my batting average improved from .110-260 in a span of five games
Since developing my mental aspect of playing baseball I became interested in learning what Sports Pyschology really is. H.A. Dorfman states that “Sport psychology involves the connection between the mind and the body and the utilization of this connection for enhancing athletic performance.” I have a lot of respect for sports pyschology because I know the importance of developing mental skills, which combined with physical ability, help an indiviual achieve their peak performance when taught. Both professional and amateur athletes find sport psychology invaluable for improving skills in a variety of individual and team sports including: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Swimming, Golf, and other sports.