Baseball Optimism 101
Ok so this post is for you baseball players and parents of baseball players looking for some simple advice about dealing with the hardships of baseball. I have been reading a lot of questions about how to approach adversity that one experiences in a life of baseball. Hopefully this will suffice:)
Martin Seligman ,PHD, the father of positive psychology, gives us a quick lesson on a popular confidence/optimism boosting exercise- which he calls the ABCDs. The goal is to eventually get you(the baseball player or parent) to stop thinking negatively, and off of things you can’t control, while thinking positively and on things you can control. The results don’t come immediately, but studies have been done on thousands of subjects, and it’s effective.
So here they are!
Name the adversity, or problem.( For example: I’m not getting enough playing time, I’m in a slump, my coach is a maniac or I’m dealing with an injury.)
List your beliefs. These are your initial reactions to the problem.(Why am I sitting on the bench?I’m better than that guy! Or I suck…why can’t I hit? Whats the deal with my coach? He needs to chill! Great, my stats are going to suffer now that I’m injured!)
Identify the consequences of your beliefs about your baseball situation.( I’m going to have to hang it up, if I don’t get out of this slump. I’ll never get the exposure I need to play at the next level if my coach doesn’t come to his senses.
Formulate a disputation of your beliefs. Pessimistic reactions are often over-reactions, so start by correcting distorted thoughts and beliefs.( I’m probably not getting enough playing time because I may have to prove my abilities and commitment to the team. My coach is still learning how to communicate with his players and he is only human. There will be plenty of opportunities to play in front of scouts, worrying about playing at the next level isn’t necessary. Injuries are part of the game. Every player will experience some kind of injury. Whats important is how I react to this injury.)
Describe how energized and empowered you feel now.( Regardless of how complicated the obstacles that baseball give seems to be. I will always have the power to choose what my response will be. Baseball is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do. I can handle every baseball obstacle and turn it into an opportunity!
I hope this helps! Don’t forget to leave a comment below!