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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 ┬áto 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 ┬ánecessary. 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!

2 thoughts on “Baseball Optimism 101

  1. Thanks so much Mark,
    My confidence was down in the dumps. I was like I can’t hit*(well that’s not new, I’m a strong defensive first baseman but have little ability to hit the ball, tees haven’t worked cuz my swing doesn’t carry over from a tee to the field. Nobody can pitch to me.) I just lost a race to a guy I thought I was way faster than. I’m supposed to be speedy (leading off and playing occasional center field) was dropping balls all the time last night, and my back kills me. It seemed like I was practising as hard and smart as could but hadn’t improved in years. But this page just changed around my thinking. You know, I did get a terrible start against that kid ystrdy, and I’ll kill him next time we run. My power will get better cuz I just got a free 2 month membership to a gym and have been there just twice so far. AND this post inspired me to call up a friend to pitch to me. And you know, my back has only been hurting for three days, not like two months. So thank you Mark. You brought my confidence back up and I love ur site

    1. You’re welcome Gunner. Glad it helped.!

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