It almost that time of the year! The Superbowl is officially over and now it’s time for the best time of the year! Softball Season. Spring Training. Pre-Season. I always remember how I felt this time of the year at Tennessee, it was these last week or two before our first game and it seemed like it lasted forever! I was so tired of scrimmaging against my teammates. Could we play someone else? Please!! It was an exciting feeling because you never knew how well you were prepared. How would you be against someone else, would the off-season work pay off? Would I be able to reach my individual goals, or more importantly would I be able to step up too help my team reach our ultimate goals?
During my last blog I asked for special requests on what you would want to read. Thank you to everyone that responded, over the next weeks I will be responding to each request via- www.monicaabbott.com/blog. Feel free to share, link tweet and post comments and new blog ideas and I will add them to the circuit. This is your chance to create an atmosphere and a library of information via my website to hopefully help empower each other.
The first blog topic is courtesy of @kaytherine_
“Mental Game for softball because not enough people realize just how mental the game can really be”
The mental game is one of the hardest parts of the game. It can even be difficult for Coaches, take a look at the Seattle Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, he is one of the best in the game, but is it possible that he over thought that last play. He might have tried to do too much, instead of keeping it simple? I can only speculate, but for everyone in athletics the mental game is one of the most challenging aspects that we deal with.
As athletes, we tend to base our success on the result of a pitch or an at bat; an outcome. The truth is though, that you have to base your success on the process, on being in the moment and on your routine. These are the things that can help you be successful. So, I’ve listed some things that have worked for me over the years and some things that can help you be successful in the “other” game; the mental game.
1. Visualization: super duper powerful. See it, Achieve it!
2. Believe in yourself: this ones hard especially when you don’t feel up too it, but it works. Fake it till you make it!
3. Turn a negative in to a positive: “She may have got a hit this at bat but next at bat I’m getting her out with this pitch.”
4. Replace: try to replace each negative thought/words immediately with a positive. Usually this works best, mid-sentence. For example if you’re standing in the outfield thinking, “I hope the ball doesn’t get hit to …” immediately say, “no, I want to make a great play today”
5. Positive Talk: off the field
6. Personal Mantra: Find something and Repeat it Daily or whenever you need it.
7. Music on the Mind: Pick a song to play in your head. Rhythm of the game.
8. Quotes: tell yourself it during big moments! (Time to “Bring It” Monie! or to the umpire—"Mind over Matter, if I don’t mind it doesn’t matter!")
9. Mini Goals: for an inning, an at bat or the game
10. Manage your distractions: Coach Candrea taught me this one really well. He would always say this during the 2008 Olympics. Manage your distractions on the field and off the field. (The umpire, a yelling coach, parents, school, boyfriend or life stress)
11. Pick a Teammate: (pick a friend to play for, let them inspire you!)
12. Do your best for a Fan: (Sometimes, before a game I’ll look into the stands and pick someone out and say today I’m going to play for her or him, let them motivate you!)
13. Short Term Memory Loss Long Term Success: on to the NEXT!
14. Stay in the Moment
And don’t forget to Breathe. Big Long Deep Breath to calm your nerves and clear your mind!