Monday, December 12, 2011

Handling Stress - Part II

By Jim Bain A quick review from Part I of stress management in case you missed it. Stress affects the mental, emotional and physical performance and well being of a player, and not controlled can actually render the player totally incapable of playing. We examined how proper preparations can be used to control stress, but let's exam more methods of stress control. We have practiced and prepared as much as we could before today's game, but you're still queasy to the stomach and you can't quit pacing for more than a couple of minutes. These are normal Pre-game Jitters which every player, even major league players experience. We discussed fear of failure being the main culprit in creating the stress and anxiousness, and major leaguers, whose very livelihood depends on producing positive results on the playing field, whether it be hitting, pitching or fielding, endure a tremendous amount of stress. So how do they handle it? When I was playing there were Two basic methods players used to control the nerves and stress issue, which will also work for you. 1. Sounds silly, but having a normal pre-game routine helps reduce stress. There are hundreds of baseball stories about players' odd pre-game routines, from eating a stack of pancakes an hour before the game, didn't matter if it was a day or night game, to having a conversation with their bat as they rubbed it with a fur mitten while in the clubhouse before the game. I doubt any such, shall I say, different routine, would be helpful to you. However, setting a routine such as, taking a nap the day of the game, always drinking two glasses of ice water before warm ups, or eating a Specific type of candy bar can be used. Most human beings are by nature, creatures of habit. We associate the smell of burning wood to the campfires we enjoy, the smell of ginger reminds us of the holidays and so on. When you eat your candy bar or drink your water, your mind instantly associates this act with preparation to play baseball. It becomes automatic and anything we do which is automatic, does Not create stress. For instance, if we don't breathe, we'll die, pretty stressful thought. However, breathing is so automatic we don't think about it, but if we're under water and our diving air tanks are dangerously low, we are stressed about the thought of breathing. Setting a routine which creates automatic conditioning helps control stress. 2. Visualization or imagery is another excellent method of controlling stress. Find a quiet place, or at least less hectic, sit still and after taking several deep breaths, close your eyes and begin Visualizing yourself hitting the baseball or nipping the corners of the plate with your curveball. You have created this imaginary event, but your inner mind doesn't realize this fact. It actually sees and feels the event of you imagining, swinging and hitting the ball, as reality. After performing this visualization numerous times your inner mind is convinced you can and will perform the task of hitting the baseball hard. This confidence is imposed on the conscious mind and there's no doubt you are quite capable of hitting the ball, eliminating, or at least restricting the fear of not being able to hit this particular pitcher. Confidence breeds strength through positive thoughts, which controls stress. In summary, establishing a routine which includes quiet visualization is an excellent method for controlling dangerous stress in a player. Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on pitching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website: Article Source: Article Source:

No comments: