Historically there has been some stigma around mental training and mental toughness. For the bulk of baseball history it’s been thought that mental toughness is something that you either have or you don’t. It can be embarrassing to admit that you need help with your mental game and for that reason players can feel alone, like they’re the only one’s who are struggling. Yet when questioned as to what percentage of their teammates struggle with the mental side players routinely answer 90% or more. This tells us that needing help developing the mental aspects of performance is more the norm. Player’s that seem to just “have it” are the outliers and not the other way around.
If you’re like most of the people across the globe right now you’re spending a lot of time at home. Quarantine life has certainly thrown a wrinkle in our day to day routine and many hitters are feeling like their development is in a holding pattern. Like most things in life however this is merely a matter of perspective. Sure, you probably can’t get in the batting cage as often as you used to, unless of course you’re one of the lucky ones with a cage in the backyard. You might not even have access to a tee and a net. Yet this doesn’t mean you can’t still be developing and improving. In fact, this could be the very opportunity you need to focus on some of the more detailed, and frankly more important aspects of hitting that maybe you’ve been neglecting.
I’m often asked, “What can I do to develop my mental skills?” Like a lot of things we are looking for some complex sort of drills. Some step by step manual about how to develop the skills that lead to peak performance. While there certainly are a number of great exercises out there that can be used to develop the mind my personal favorite is relatively simple. I like to use the events that transpire in everyday life to help me develop the skills necessary to perform at a higher level.