Emotions And Performance
Baseball is one of the hardest sports for players to excel in which is why a .300 batting average at the major league level is so hard to accomplish and why parents are willing to do anything to help their kids get “the edge”.
What is it that makes players so good? What makes them so successful? What separates the average from the great?
Yes, concentration, or sometimes called focus.
Everybody knows how important it is for us, people, to focus. At our job, talking with a friend, lifting weights, doing homework, or watching television.
Everything we do takes some level of concentration or focus and some of those things take more or less than others. Like watching t.v., that doesn’t take an awful lot of focus, but it does still take some.
You are concentrating on the characters, on what’s being said, on the story. There is always something to concentrate on.
You’re concentrating on this article. I’m concentrating as I type it up.
So what does that mean exactly? What exactly is concentration?
When concentrating we are blocking other things out. We are “zoned in”, if you will, on the one thing we are concentrating on. In that moment, nothing else exists to us. Especially if fully focused.
What if I asked you to concentrate on something but you had just gone through something traumatic? What if I asked you to focus on something after you were just in a heated argument? What if I asked you to concentrate on something immediately after you failed at something you wanted to accomplish? Or what if I asked you to concentrate on something while you were going through a really sad break up?
Do you think you would be able to concentrate very well in any of these situations?
If you said no, you’re probably right. You probably would not be able to concentrate, and if you were able to concentrate it might not be your best concentration.
So what does this have to do with baseball?
Actually, it has everything to do with baseball and youth performance. You see, our emotions and the way we process information and events in our lives has a direct affect on our ability to concentrate and focus on things.
Emotions play a pivotal role in the lives of us all, especially in our youth. Not only does it affect them in sport but also in their relationships and in their school work.
Research suggests that there is a definite correlation between the emotional well being of youth athletes and their ability to perform and excel at their sport.
What does this mean?
If you want your kids to perform better, you might want to take a closer look at how they are feeling and the cause of those feelings before you take a look at their mechanics. Anxiety and depression are on the rise in the youth of America and that will definitely impact their ability to concentrate on their sport.
Without a healthy internal environment (mental health) youth athletes, and all athletes for that matter, will struggle to have their full focus and in turn struggle to perform at the level they are capable of performing.
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