How to Prepare Mentally Before a Baseball Game
There are three vital steps to preparing mentally before any baseball game, and wielding these a ballplayer can feel confident that the game will be just that, an executed competitive game. So how does one prepare mentally?
Having fun is essential to playing baseball, so a ballplayer cannot overstress or over strategize an upcoming ballgame, but should keep knowledge in the back of the mind; this is vital to being successful, and actively playing should be first and foremost in the brain in order to be mentally ready.
- Practice, practice, practice! The repetition of gameplay adds to the muscle memory, brain memory, hand-eye coordination, and generally increases a player’s skills, whether in the field or in the batting cage. Falling into this step are the necessities that go along with practice, like being in shape via ample exercising and/or weight training (without steroids please, Alex Rodriguez). An athletic ballplayer who practices often is in the best mental and physical shape to take the field. As Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson once said, "If you're not practicing, somebody else is, somewhere, and he'll be ready to take your job" (thinkexist.com).
- Strategy. Baseball is one of the world’s greatest sports because of the innumerable variations of scenarios that play out in a single nine inning game. Statistics are helpful, and knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses versus the opposing team’s is vital to heading into the first inning. A game plan must be set before the opening pitch so that the precarious scenarios of a runner on third with one out when your team is down by a run in the seventh does not result in chaos; baseball affords rare opportunities to score and players must be ready to do so, or to quell the opposition.
- Focus. Players must keep the game plan in mind, but not become overwhelmed by potential happenings and just play the game. It is a game, and fun is needed to keep one’s body loose. Try and get into a pregame routine and do whatever is relaxing so that going onto the diamond is an exalted feeling and not one of panic. Enjoy the game! This is all important to being mentally prepared before a baseball game.