Putting it into Practice:
One really easy way to implement all 3 of these ideas into your on field performance is understanding “The Rule of 2”.
The Rule of 2 is the idea that after two bad pitches in a row we hit the reset button. This means that I will take a longer walk back to the mound (more walking), stop before the dirt of the mound to take a big deep breath in (more breathing), and think 1 positive thought (more thinking). This routine will be my physical cue to reset my body, forget about the past, and get right back to work.
This technique is so powerful for kids of all ages and will dramatically improve your ability to refocus your mind and execute more pitches.
RULE OF 2:
Walking: If you normally walk straight back to the mound after a pitch, try walking in a curved line, increase your walk back by at least 5 steps.
Breathing: The mound is sacred ground, do not step on the dirt if you are not in the right frame of mind. Walk right up the the edge of the mound, stop, focus your eyes on the rubber, and take a big deep breath in thru the mouth and out the mouth. Flood the brain with oxygen and as you exhale relax the muscles.
Thinking: The last step is thinking. After you exhale, thinking something positive. “I am the best player on the field”, “This hitter can’t touch my fastball”, or even “I am the best” are all viable options. The point is to give yourself confidence. You are capable of so much more than you think, but only if you believe in your ability.
After two bad pitches, a bad call, or a big hit, take a longer walk, take a big breath, and think a positive thought. Reset, and get back to work!