How can a baseball player stay focused when I’m under stress?
by Kamala Nellen
Every professional baseball player has to ask himself one critical question: How can I stay focused when I’m under stress? This is a pivotal issue for you as you move into the 2017 MLB season. You may be strong and fast. Your skills may be solid. But—heads up!—you are about to go to another level. Major League Baseball is where the men are separated from the boys. If you cannot maintain your focus when you’re stressed, both on and off the field, you will be gone before the dust settles from your first season.
Of course it’s true on the field. You have to play the game with heart, passion, chemistry—and strained knees and rotator cuffs! To prevent injuries and stay in shape for training camp, you have to work out every day of the year. Whether between games or during a game, you have lots of time to think, and you need to be able to strategize effectively while you wait. If you fall behind, you lose your spot on the depth chart. As one scout shared with me, “Tons of guys never recover once they get behind in performance readiness; you never see them again.” You have to be motivated to improve each week during the season and to improve every season. To be the best at this level, you have to work hard, train hard, study hard. There is NO break.
And off the field, the media will make sure millions of people watch your every move. You are living in a glass house. The bars you go to after a game for a drink, the women you date, the high-profile events you go to—everywhere, eyes will be on you. People will pull you in many directions. You will have demands from your sponsors, from your family. You have to watch for the drug dealers, the bounty hunters, the sharks. You can get into trouble and ruin your career in just seconds.
To handle this level of stress, it is not enough to work out. For sustained peak performance, you have to also work IN. Working in means working on the mind.
When I prepare champion athletes for competitive performance, one of the main areas I focus on is taking care of the mind. When your mind is in optimal condition, your power of focus is increased. You can focus in the moment on the field. You are able to recuperate fast between games; you learn how to recharge your body and your mind. After a one-hour session with me, a college softball player who had dragged herself in the door said she felt like she’d slept for eight hours. She’d been under-the-gun from a long day of practice and study, and now she was smiling and relaxed. After one hour of Working IN, she was ready to perform at her highest level.
Working IN is about self-study, self-correction, self-management, and learning to think on your feet with absolute clarity. When you are fully present, you become aware of what you need. Then, with skill and confidence, you can take care of what needs to be addressed. You are in alignment with yourself, in command of yourself, and you can manage the most challenging situations effectively. This kind of relaxed focus leads to outstanding performance AND durability.
With these time-proven practices and techniques, I have given my clients immediate and truly astounding results.
If you want to stay focused during stressful events, to sustain steady performance levels, and to keep your hard-earned contract, call me, Kamala Nellen, so that you, too, can learn to Work IN.
Kamala Nellen is a sports performance enhancement coach and author of the book, Working IN; The Elite Athlete’s Guide to Working Out from the Inside. Nellen assists elite athletes with mental and physical tools to optimize performance and stay durable. To request information or sign up for a complimentary session visit coachingforchampionsLLC.com.
Kamala Nellen, Coaching for Champions, The Art and Science of Working IN for Champion Performance™, Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.