The Ole Ball Game

~ Identifying Unproductive Behavior ~ Make Your Opponent Beat You, Instead Of Losing To Yourself! ~

Identifying unproductive behavior such as, "I must be the perfect player - I cannot fail,"is essential. It is unproductive to demand or even expect perfection. You can, however, expect excellence which is based on controllable factors like attitude and effort.

Identifying Unproductive Behavior ~ Tips From the Dugout

unproductive behavior tips ~ from the dugout

Without a doubt, we have all witnessed examples of negative baseball self talk manifested through an athlete's reaction to an "on field situation".

Examples of identifying unproductive behavior that come immediately to mind are hitting the batting helmet with the bat after a swing and a miss, throwing of equipment, glaring or yelling at an umpire, yelling at a team mate or coach, verbally complaining in the dugout about that last pitch call, complaining it is too hot or cold, saying you have never been able to hit this pitcher, never do well on this particular field, the list can be quite extensive.

For each example that you physically notice, there are many more internal battles taking place that go unnoticed, not just unnoticed by the surrounding spectators and fans; but unnoticed by the athletes themselves.

Therein lies the challenge for both the coach and the athlete, identifying unproductive behavior so that it can be stopped and redirected.

Once athletes are aware of such things as negative and positive self talk, and the steps that can be taken to stay positive, endless possibilities arise during practice time to work on this skill.

It need not be formal, it is more likely to be subtle. It is all worth the time and the effort!

Unproductive Behaviors

  1. Catastrophizing
    • "The sky is falling, the sky is falling." Magnifying small problems and turning them into complete disasters. An example would be the pitcher who walks one batter on 4 borderline calls, and comes unraveled the rest of the inning or game.

  2. Worth Depends Upon Achievment
    • I only have value as a person if I play well. My play on the field or at the plate determines my worth as a person. Realize you have intrinsic worth as a person, regardless of how well or poorly you perform.

  3. Blaming External Circumstances For Failure
    • Umpires bad call, or ball must have taken a bad hop. Avoid the habit of blaming outside factors when you make mistakes. Occasionally things outside your control can contribute to mistakes; but keep your focus on the internal things you can control.

  4. One Time Generalizations
    • Because I played poorly early means the rest of the day will be bad. Some athletes let their first at bat control the rest of the game. Just because you may have struck out the first time does not mean you are doomed the rest of the game.

  5. Mistakes Are Always Fatal
    • I can't learn from any strikeout or error. Most players dwell on the mistakes they make and allow them to erode their confidence. There can be advantages to making mistakes if you are willing to look for them. Winners turn mistakes into success by learning from them and using them to their advantage. Thus, it's not necessarily the mistakes you make; but how you react to them.

  6. Taking Personal Burden For Team Failure
    • "I cost the team the game." One single play does not determine the outcome of the entire game. Some people blame themselves for team losses. Just as you don't take all the credit for success when you get the game winning RBI, you should not take all the blame for failure when you commit an error.

Additional Topics: A Road Map To Increasing Mental Toughness

Mental Game

~ The one thing over which you have absolut control is your own thoughts. ~

Coaching Confidence

~ In baseball, coaching confidence can produce results that go beyond the drills and strategies and into the hearts and minds of the people they teach. ~

Mental Power

~ You are searching for the magic key that will unlock the door to the source of power. ~

Focus Grid

~ This is a fun mental focus exercise designed to find out how well you can initially concentrate with no distractions, then how well you concentrate with distractions. ~

Mental Control

~ Mental control lies in our ability to direct our attention on what we can control. ~

Self Talk

~ The dialogue we carry on with ourselves each day of our lives. ~

Slump Busting

~ Slump busting can provide you and your players with a plan to decrease the impact of those inevitable slumps. ~

Mental Framing

~ Put your mind in a position to be successful. ~


~ It's crucial but; players don't always know what teamwork means. ~

Control Your Attitude

~ Controlling your attitude is nothing more than choosing to use and focus on productive self talk. ~

Derek Jeter On Deck

~ The ultimate preparation! ~

Harvey Dorfman

~ Tributes to a very special man! ~

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Louisville Sluggers. 1920's

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