There’s a reason why Ted Williams once said that your skill level in baseball is determined in large part “from the neck up”. Every top baseball player will tell you that when it comes to baseball, you need to train your mind just as much as you train your body. Whether you’re a baseball player or a softball player, the value of protecting your mental health and developing a strong mindset cannot possibly be overstated. However, many players struggle with mental health, or simply don’t pay enough attention to theirs, without realizing how integral it is to their performance. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of a strong mindset and gaining a mental edge in baseball training.
Why is having a strong mentality important in baseball training?
It has long been said that baseball is a game of failure, and to a certain extent, that can be true. Even the most elite hitters still make outs at the plate the majority of the time. While this doesn’t mean that they don’t have baseball skills, it can be difficult to deal with, especially when you’re in a slump. That’s where your mentality comes in. Many players in many sports talk about the idea of trusting the process, and this is true when you’re trying to make it to the majors as a professional player too. That includes taking your mindset, as well as your training, to the next level.
In recognition of the value of mental health care, Major League Baseball has even improved its commitment to access to treatment in recent years. They provide a variety of services to professional players both on and off the field, including counseling and access to a 24/7 hotline where they can reach out if they’re having a mental health crisis. Additionally, a growing number of top players are speaking out about mental health, which has brought the issue to the forefront of the conversation. This is long overdue and something we should all be invested in.
Baseball players are often under a lot of pressure, whether they’re playing on a travel team or they’re starting position players for the Boston Red Sox. Without taking care of their mental health, even the best hitters will struggle to succeed on a long-term basis. Everyone recognizes that hitters and pitchers need things like strength training, but it’s long past time for us to acknowledge that working on your mental fortitude can make you a better baseball player too.
How can you work on your mindset as a baseball player?
While many people believe that baseball training is only focused on skills like bat speed or pitch velocity, the truth is that you can find hitting lessons that teach you about having a strong mindset too. Vaughn Sports Academy is one of the few high-quality programs that offer online training where you can find a baseball coach that places an emphasis on the hard work of improving your mentality too. They provide education, empowerment, mentorship, positive reinforcement, and cutting-edge training methods. The VSA code teaches the following principles:
- Preparation and consistency are key.
- A strong mindset is an essential tool for baseball players.
- You need to leave your comfort zone.
- If you fail, get back up and try again.
- Trust the process.
- Work hard, then play freely and with passion.
Another thing we need to do is continue to destigmatize mental health treatment. Baseball players should feel like they’re able to talk about mental health issues with their coaching staff without fear of judgment. While some may not want to share this personal information, other players may be interested in making a difference by sharing their experiences with others who may be able to relate. By being more inclusive and proactive about mental health education, we can make more people feel welcome in the sport.
As you can see, baseball training isn’t just about spending time in the batting cages, it’s also about being in the best place you can be from a mental health perspective so that you can elevate your performance on the field. By investing time in your mental health and attending a training facility that values the role your mindset plays in your success as a baseball player, you can give yourself a better chance of becoming a professional player and building a career in the majors. We can all be a part of the solution to baseball’s mental health problem by discussing these issues publicly and advocating for more support for players of all ages and at every level.