Mental Keys to Stable Confidence
One sure-fire way of killing confidence is to be excessively hard on yourself after a bad game.
Berating yourself or focusing on mistakes hurts your confidence greatly.
Imagine if you had a coach that verbally beat you down after an error, giving up a run or having a hit-less game. That verbal beat-down would cause you to question your ability to perform.
Harsh self-criticism hurts motivation and confidence in future games.
Instead of playing instinctively, harsh self-criticism creates mental interference that further contributes to poor play because now you avoid future mistakes. As this cycle goes on, confidence dwindles.
To maintain confidence, you don’t want to be that negative coach who crushes your confidence after one bad game. A bad game is not a sign that your skills are diminishing… It’s just a bad game.
A throwing error does not signify some inability to make accurate throws… It’s just an error.
If you give up three runs in an inning that does not mean you no longer have stuff to get hitters out. It was just a bad inning.
Even a string of bad games is not evidence indicating an inability to play baseball at a high level. It’s just a rough patch.
After a bad game, instead of a dose of harsh self-criticism, give yourself a break.
It’s normal to be upset. It’s normal for negative thoughts to pop up. But, at some point, you need to objectively evaluate your performance, both the good and the bad.
The better option is to have a growth perspective. Learn from the game and move on. This may sound simplistic but it is essential to maintain confidence.
Harsh self-criticism provides no direction for how to improve in the future.
Case in point… Being unduly harsh has been partly the cause for the slow start to Byron Buxton’s career.
Buxton was drafted No. 2 overall out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2012. Buxton made his Major League debut in 2015 playing 46 games with a .209 batting average. Buxton hit .225 the following year and .253 in 2017. Buxton had his most difficult year in 2018 playing in 28 games for the Twins and hitting only .156.
Some had questioned if Buxton was a bust. Buxton knew he needed a different mindset. In 2019, Buxton is off to his best season in the Majors and he attributes his improved play to not engaging in harsh self-criticism when he doesn’t produce on the field.
BUXTON: “Just being myself. That’s what we harp on and what we preach on. Just be yourself, don’t try to overdo it, and just let everything happen.”
Instead of being obsessed with stats which contributed to harsh self-criticism, Buxton has learned to just focus on his approach instead of his numbers.
BUXTON: “It’s a work in progress. I don’t really pay attention to too many stats. I just try to go out and try to have quality at-bats and everything else will take care of itself.”
To maintain a high level of confidence, you need to move on after a bad game and not replay those moments in your mind.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, learn from your mistakes and move onward. With this type of mindset, you can improve your game and maintain the high level of confidence needed to succeed.
Be Your Own Best Coach After Games:
To maintain confidence, implement the “Rule of 3’s” strategy after each game:
- Find 3 positives from your performance in a game.
- Identify 3 aspects of your game that you need to improve.
- Determine 3 practice goals that will lead to improvement.
Developing a more positive post-game routine can help you maintain confidence. Being your “own best coach” will help you stabilize confidence and lead to more efficient objective-driven practices.
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Do you (or your athletes) lack full confidence in your skills when you step on the field as if your game disappears at game time?
Do you lose composure easily after you make your first error of time game?
Do you feel embarrassed after striking out and carry this with you for longer than one inning?
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“Dr. Cohn has put together a program that has enabled myself and our players to approach the mental game in a systematic way that is easy to use and apply. Our awareness level has greatly increased.”*
~Marty Hunter, Head Baseball Coach George Fox University
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~Amber Prosser, Clark College Softball
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“I’ve Been Tearing it Up Lately!”
“Dr. Cohn, I’ve been tearing it up lately!!! Every single thing you taught me works perfectly in every situation I’ve been in. I’ve been so into every game and focusing on the process and not the outcomes and everything falls right into place . In the playoffs I’m 5-7 with 2 run home runs and 5 RBIs. I feel great at the plate and focusing is a breeze now. I just wanted to thank you for everything and keep you posted with how everything was going.”*
~Jalen Phillips, College Baseball Player
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“With your help, I have been able to deal with stress and pressure of the game of baseball more efficiently. I have learned to help me keep my focus and disregard negative thoughts and energies. This process focus will keep me from getting my head in the way of my performance, from working against myself. Thanks for your help. I look forward to speaking with you again.”*
~Keith Donnell, college baseball player
“I’m Amazed at the Change in His Mental Game”
“Ty has started nine games this season, and he is 6-0, with a 2.6 ERA. Two weeks ago he pitched a 9-inning shutout, breaking his school’s record with 17 strikeouts. For his efforts he was named NJCAA Division I National Pitcher of the Week. He’s in a real good place mentally. The mental game skills you taught him about mental preparation, eliminating expectation, and staying in the moment have been the keys to his success. The thing I have noticed most is his improved consistency. I have been amazed at the change in his mental game. I should have called you earlier to thank you personally.”*
~Randy Sullivan, Ty’s Father
*Testimonials found on this site are examples of what we have done for other clients, and what some of our clients have said about us. However, we cannot guarantee the results in any case. Your results may vary and every situation is different. No compensation was provided for these testimonials.