Emotions and Performance

Have you ever woke up in the morning and thought to yourself, “Today is gong to be a great day!” or maybe you were on vacation and you thought, “No matter what happens this is going to be a fun vacation.” If you’ve ever had that experience then you know that regardless of what happened during that day you were able to stay in touch with the emotions you were committed to feeling. If a challenge arose you were probably able to let it roll right off your back and didn’t stress about what might happen. Over all, regardless of what transpired during that day you were probably able to have a great day or enjoy your vacation. The point I’m making here is that we have the ability to choose which emotions we are committed to feeling. Most of the time we go through life and through our at bats with a reactionary type mentality. Meaning that if we get a hit we feel good, if we strike out we feel bad. These feelings then translate into our ability to perform.

Negative emotions have a tendency to increase the mental resistance that inhibits performance and create physical manifestations in the body that also inhibit performance. Negative emotions create an increase in muscular tension, accelerated heart rate, shallowed and rapid breathing, all of which decrease fine motor skills making it more unlikely for us to consistently execute proper mechanics.

Positive emotions on the other hand increase mental clarity, allow us to stay present, help us to stay calm and relaxed, which allows us to consistently execute proper mechanics. Knowing all of this it’s important that we don’t allow our emotions to be dictated by the results we produce. One effective technique is to decide before the game the emotions you are committed to feeling. If you know that feeling peaceful, confident, cheerful, and enthusiastic allow you to perform at your highest capacity then decide that you are committed to feeling these emotions during the game regardless of what may transpire. What I recommend is keeping a journal. In that journal it’s beneficial to write down before the game what emotions you are committed to feeling regardless of what happens. You can then go back and evaluate how well you stayed committed to the emotions you decided to feel. Over time you’ll find that you’re able to stay committed to these emotions which will allow you to gain more enjoyment out of your at-bats, and ultimately perform at a higher level.

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