Ever wonder why some players tend to excel more than others? They don't seem to be any faster, stronger, bigger or smarter. Yet - they seem to get the job done. Similarly, how great hitters practice confident mindsets really comes down to one thing...
They're great competitors.
Usually, they're the best competitor on the field. You just don't realize it because it's not as obvious as being 6'2, having big league bat-speed or being blazing fast.
It's subtle and it has integrity. Because it's always there, whether someones watching or not. In fact - especially when no ones watching.
Here are 7 ways competitors train & compete in baseball.
1. Win The At-Bat
First of all, as a hitter you have to be ready to mash when you step in the batter's box. Period. On the other hand, when you have two strikes on you, it's about battling and protecting.
Be a seriously tough out. Give your teammates extra looks at the pitcher to help them optimize their timing and pitch recognition. Put pressure on the defense.
There are more ways to win the at-bat besides getting a hit.
If your teammate can benefit from you being at the plate, or if how you competed has a positive effect on what happens in your next at-bat, then you won the at-bat and that's what really counts.
2. Ready To Go To Battle
There is ALWAYS someone out-working you. Whether because they're working harder, smarter or both.
This is about one question. "How bad do you want it?"
See - there's a reason why the Dominican Republic produces more big leaguers per capita than any other place in the world.
Those players are hungry. Literally and metaphorically.
While you're on social media, they're taking extra groundballs.
While you're playing Fortnite, they're playing wall ball or watching their heroes on the MLB channel like a player instead of a fan.
They're getting their work in when you're not.
But, a true competitor gets their work in.
When they sleep in. The competitor is up at 5:00 am. When they skip workouts, the competitor gets there early and leaves last.
When the competitor shows up to battle, he wins, others lose. Period.
3. Never Let's Others See You Sweat
You never know who's watching. There are eyes always on you. Both when you're performing and producing and especially when you're struggling and falling short.
Your body language and mentality says a lot. Pouting, throwing helmets, kicking dirt and dropping your head is the quickest way to get your name scratched off a scout's list.
You never know who's watching. Be the same guy every day and before and after every play.
5. Battles All The Dragons.
In baseball, there will always be three dragons you must battle against on the field.
- The Game
- Your Opponent
- Your Mind.
Make sure your worst enemy isn't building a home in your dome. Being a great competitor, mentally tough and poised are prerequisites to living up to your potential and being a champion.
This is as much for the player as it is for the team.
Slay all three dragons.
6. Approach Over Mechanics.
At younger levels, it's important that you have solid mechanics. As you get older and as the game speeds up, mindset is key.
Being a better competitor than you are a player means that you're playing this game with calm focus while trusting your instincts to apply what you've learned in practice, in the game.
When your mechanics are what you're focused on during the game, you'll lose because while you're trying to avoid paralysis by analysis, your opponent has already made their move.
7. Plays Both Sides of The Field Well.
It's a challenge to not take pitches off on defense after a bad at-bat.
You're thinking, "why did I swing at that pitch? I should have crushed that fastball!"
The at-bat is in the past. The pitch right now, on defense is the most important play of the game.
Not taking your bad at-bats to the field is how to really compete when you've hit a little adversity. Not the easiest thing to do, but like a muscle the more you do it, the better you get at it. The more mentally tough you become.
At the end of the day, what this really comes down to is trust and playing for the right reasons.
Trust that your work will support you when you will need it most on the field while having the reasons why you're playing align with what really matters...
...helping your team win ball games.
How Great Hitters Practice Confident Mindsets
It's funny how when you realize that it's not about you, it's about the team, how quickly the pressure to perform fades away.
Now your abilities can come through. The pressure is off. You're free to compete.
Have you noticed any other ways how great hitters practice confident mindsets during the game or in practice?
Let me know in the comments below.