Part II of our series on College Baseball Coaches and the Mental Game:
Before the 2009 season began, we asked 42 Head Baseball Coaches at Division I universities to help us better understand how the mental game of baseball is perceived and used in college baseball. Our goal was to learn more about how coaches taught the mental game in their programs, the biggest mental game challenges their players faced, and where mental skills training could make a bigger difference in the future.
The need for better education is reinforced in the answers to this question:
Q: “It seems that a strong mental game is listed by many athletes and coaches when thinking about what makes a winner, but we can’t figure out why sport psychology hasn’t made a bigger breakthrough… Why do you think that is?“
- Lack of knowledge/understanding of what sport psychology is and how to use it.
- Ego and/or fear on the part of players and coaches. Afraid to let others be involved. Afraid to admit weaknesses. Afraid to admit that they don’t know how to help players in this area or afraid to ask for help.
- No budget for it.
- Lack of credible resources who know the game of baseball, can relate to players, and provide simple useful information.
- Hard to quantify the value of what you’re getting and measure whether or not you got what you were paying for.
- Trust. Most coaches we polled do consider this an important part of the game and are confident enough in themselves that they can admit that they don’t know enough about it or how to teach it. But they have a difficult time finding people who they trust to teach them more and to help their players.
The lack of understanding of what sport psychology is and how to use it may increase the fear of some coaches and players to reach out and try it. And coaches saw both of these factors as greater contributors to the slow progress of sport psychology in baseball than a lack of funds or credible resources who they can trust to help them.
Part III coming soon…
Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, was released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:
For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.