And of the four “major” sports in the United States, baseball is by far the most mentally challenging and demanding. Demanding, because there is so much dead time compared to other sports. Dead time gives baseball players lots of time to think, and thinking is often at the root of tension, pressure and anxiety.
If you notice you over thinking your throw, say to yourself, “See the target, hit the target.” This simple phrase can remind you to stop overthinking and re-focus your attention on your approach to each hitter. Remember that your fear of a bad throw–and what that means to you–drives the over thinking and over control.
The Mental Side of Hitting is easily the most important aspect in the game of baseball for two main reasons. 90% of hitting is how you feel when walking up to the plate. There are two players in every hitter.
Learn more. You should run from anyone who tries to tell you that pitching isn’t mental, that it’s merely a physical, mechanical endeavor. Being a pitcher is hard, in part because of how much the mental side comes in to play on a pitch-by-pitch, inning-by-inning basis.
In reality, sport is 100 percent mental. Our thoughts influence our actions and our actions influence our thoughts. This never-ending cycle often leads athletes and coaches to attribute poor performance in practice and competition to thinking too much.
It may be surprising to most people that swimming is number 1 in the list of the most mentally challenging sports in the world. Many professional swimmers fall into a 7-day self-sabotage cycle. This is a period where they may doubt themselves and grow continuous stress on themselves.
It’s no secret that Major League Baseball players can hit, catch and throw far better than the rest of us, but these abilities don’t just come from their above-average physical prowess. As Yogi Berra once infamously said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical.”
Baseball is the hardest sport because this fatiguing season requires players to take care of their body for longer. Each player exerts max energy every single swing, pitch, or throw, and it takes a lot of hard work to keep their bodies at maximum efficiency to be able to play all season long.
In some people, the yips are a type of focal dystonia, a condition that causes involuntary muscle contractions during a specific task. It’s most likely related to overuse of a certain set of muscles, similar to writer’s cramp. Anxiety worsens the effect.
What are the Yips? “The Yips” are a sudden inability to throw the ball accurately. Most view the cause of Ankiel’s as unexplainable. Despite many other players being inflicted in the 20 years since, little or nothing has been done to fix the yips in baseball.
Having good mechanics obviously helps a hitter be successful! Having a good controlled load and stride. Then getting to a good launch position where they have hand and hip separation and good torso tilt will set them up to be able to unleash with increased bat speed!
Pitching mechanics are harder than hitting mechanics. In order to throw hard, you need to have elite pitching mechanics.
Deep breathing exercises help especially if you can picture in your mind the oxigen actually going into your calf muscles. Don’t breath rapidly, take it slow and deep. Try to imagine all your body joints expanding with the oxigen until you feel as though you are floating off the ground.
They are accuracy, velocity, movement, mental toughness, and a healthy arm. The more of these skills a pitcher has, the better they will generally be. Accuracy is important because a pitcher needs to be able to locate their pitches. If they don’t have good accuracy, they will walk too many hitters.
Mental toughness helps you rise to meet the small challenges in each game. For example, each pitch in a baseball game is a challenge itself with every pitch having a combination of factors that makes each situation unique.