THE VISUALIZATION MODULES
MODULE 1 — Playing Purpose-Driven Baseball: Your Personal Mission Statement
Players should have a clearly defined mission. This module will help players understand why they play baseball, the type of player they want to be and what they want to accomplish in training and during games. Without a mission, players often lack the motivation they desire and may feel a sense of burnout around training. Players may be great athletes but without a mission, they often will lack the spark and intensity toward the game and will struggle to perform at their best. A defined mission, on the other hand, will help them deal with adversity during the challenging moments of a game. To reach their potential, it is important to find meaning and purpose for playing the game they love. To be the best they can be, the fire must come from within them, which is what a mission statement will provide.
MODULE 2 — Recognizing Your Inner Critic
Most players are not accustomed to recognizing or being aware of their inner thinking. It can be even more difficult to be aware of negative self-talk when they are faced with performance challenges. This module will help players listen to the types of self-statements that both help and hurt their performance. As players learn to listen to their thinking or inner critic, they will be able to effectively exercise alternate thoughts and ultimately control their mental game. To exercise control over their mental game, players must first become aware of their inner thoughts so that they may interrupt negative self-talk and ultimately increase their focus on the game. Players will find their best performance when they can effectively manage their thoughts and find focus on the task they are trying to accomplish.
MODULE 3 — Mental Toughness: The Competition Roller Coaster
The first step for players to manage their inner critic is to recognize their self-talk during the stress of games. Next, they must learn to manage their self-talk and the pressures of game-time performance. Competitions are often like a roller coaster ride filled with peaks and valleys, high intensity, high anxiety, joyful moments, and plenty of pressure-packed moments. It is important for players to learn to embrace and manage competition with the same reverence as they give to a roller coaster. In this module, players will mentally train themselves to manage the ups and downs that occur during games. They will see themselves experience, and ultimately overcome, both the highs and lows in a game.
MODULE 4 — Mental Toughness: Overcoming Challenges
Players often can come out flat and sluggish and will find it difficult to regain their composure and confidence. Coaches, parents and players feel helpless during these kinds of games. In this module, players will see themselves overcoming their personal mental and physical challenges. Players will mentally train themselves to bounce back, refocus and bring the energy of a best performance to a personally challenging game. Players will focus their attention and their mind on getting in the zone, while providing personal leadership to the team and steering it back on a winning course.
MODULE 5 — Mental Toughness: Mind of A Champion
There is that moment when players realize they are competing against a great or championship-caliber team. Players often choose to feel afraid or nervous and begin tasting defeat before the game begins. When players go into a game worried that they cannot defeat their opponent, the stage is set for weakened focus, errors and mental upset. The players are defeated before they have given themselves the opportunity to perform at their best. In this module, players will mentally train to think as a champion, to visualize playing as a champion and to overcome mistakes to be a champion.
MODULE 6 — Glimmers of Greatness
All players have experienced moments or games when they were playing their best baseball. These often feel like glimmers of greatness when the players can get a glimpse of their full potential. In these moments, the players’ mechanics and mental game seem to work almost flawlessly. The players are totally engulfed by the game. They have created a certain rhythm to their play and are playing their best baseball with what seems like little effort. Remembering their best performances, and how they were thinking, feeling and doing, will help them replicate and increase the number of their best performances. In this module, players will mentally train to harness and increase those glimmers of greatness on the field.
MODULE 7 — Getting Out of Your Own Way
The players who perform at their best will perform fearlessly. They are positive, highly motivated, respect the game and play without reservation. This is the result of believing in their ability, playing with confidence, embracing mistakes and challenging themselves. Some players get in their own way in that they worry about making mistakes or worry that they will not perform well in competition. The result is that they play safe and ultimately perform worse, which then affirms their fears. In this module, players will mentally train to play fearlessly through improving and strengthening their beliefs about themselves.
MODULE 8 — Getting and Staying in The Zone
The ability to stay laser-focused and present during a game is the difference between a memorable and an average performance. Mindfulness, or staying present in the moment, is often one of the key differences in optimal performance. In this module, players will mentally train to stay focused on the present moment during the game. They will train their brain to concentrate on the game, while allowing distractions and negative emotions to fall away. This is referred to as a state of flow, when everything but the present event disappears. The players’ best performances result when they are able to manage their ability to focus when it is most needed.
MODULE 9 — HITTING: Mental Toughness and Focus
Hitting has an extraordinarily high failure rate, meaning that players will need to manage their expectations while at the plate. Players often choose to perceive their success or failure based solely on their at-bats, which can adversely affect the rest of their game. Players often carry their critical self-talk onto the field, which can create defensive errors and a lack of focus. In this module, players will establish a pre-game routine, effectively evaluate their mental game readiness and see themselves using techniques to effectively manage or demonstrate mental toughness and focus during their at-bats.
MODULE 10 — FIELDING: Mental Toughness and Focus
Fielding mistakes or errors can disrupt players’ ability to focus on every pitch. Players often choose to dwell on mistakes, which means their mental focus is inside their head instead of on the game. This can lead to further errors and an ugly downward spiral. Players sometimes even take their critical self-talk into the batter’s box. Ultimately, if they are focused on a personal or team mistake, they are not focused on the critical elements occurring in the game. In this module, players will establish a pre-game routine, effectively evaluate their mental game readiness and see themselves using techniques to effectively manage or demonstrate mental toughness and focus while on the field.
MODULE 11 — PITCHING: Mental Toughness and Focus
Pitchers often receive the most praise for team successes and the most blame for team downfalls. Mental toughness allows pitchers to remain calm and focused regardless of the high pressure they are facing. Mentally tough pitchers can focus on the things they can control and not let the things out of their control distract them. In this module pitchers will establish a pre-game routine, see themselves performing effectively in a game while managing distractions and identify techniques to reduce mental disruptions while increasing their ability to focus on one pitch at a time.
Pre-Game Readiness Module
Players rarely prepare mentally for their upcoming game and often leave their performance to chance. If they start the game on a positive note, they often play well throughout. On the other hand, if they struggle a bit to start, they often record a poor performance. With the right mental preparation, players can set the stage early for a great performance. They can learn to tune out the crowd, harness their pre-game butterflies and stay focused on the game during challenging moments. This module helps players learn to harness pre-game butterflies, let go of distractions, recall previous best performances and create the mindset to achieve a championship performance. This is the essential module to create pre-game readiness.
Post-Game Evaluation Module
When the game concludes, players often either forget about their mistakes and move on or repeatedly replay their miscues. Either way, they are missing an important opportunity to celebrate their successes during the game as well as evaluate and learn from their mistakes. In this module, players start by assessing their pre-game readiness and see the importance of pre-game mental preparation. They learn to think like a champion in that they evaluate both positive elements of their performance as well as areas where they need to refocus their training efforts. Finally, players learn to set future training goals while learning that every game, win or lose, provides opportunities for growth as they strive to perform at their best. This module greatly assists players to be prepared for their next contest.