The October 2012 issue of Collegiate Baseball Magazine contains a two-page interview discussing Intangibles. Lou Pavlovich, Jr. is the editor of the magazine and he interviewed me himself after conducting a review of the book. He has graciously agreed to let me share the article and you can download the complete copy in PDF format by following this link to my publisher’s web site:
I’ve included a few excerpts in this post if you’d like a preview.
Collegiate Baseball: What are intangibles in the game of baseball? You touch on confidence, focus, will, desire, and preparation early in the book. How does an athlete excel in all these areas? It is not easy to do.
Geoff Miller: My explanation of intangibles involves a couple of parts. First, in baseball, we are trying to measure performance in so many ways. The mental side of the game has been that one area that has been very difficult to define. Sometimes these intangibles get written off as not being coachable. People are either born with them or not. And there is debate on that. People are looking for this magic formula for how we measure and develop all of these characteristics in all our players. My contention with Intangibles is that they are very tangible when we measure them in ourselves. We know right away what it feels like to be confident and what it feels like not to have confidence. That’s a tangible feeling. It’s not measured on a scale. It’s not something you can compare to someone else’s confidence. But you can see right away when an athlete is playing with confidence and when they aren’t. Players don’t need to compare their intangibles to Derek Jeter’s. They need to know how to understand their own intangibles and to understand how to get to a place where they can be comfortable and confident so the focus, discipline, and the will and everything they have been preparing for can come out when it matters.
CB: I was intrigued by your Baseball IQ program. Please explain how this works.
GM: That’s another central theme in the book and part of my philosophy of teaching the mental game. The mental game is made up of knowledge and performing under pressure. When you hear about people talk about the mental game and they say this player is strong in this area, a lot of times it means he knows what he is doing. That comes from experience and comes from learning the game and the details of the game. I really feel like the Baseball IQ portion of the book is about making sure that whatever level you are playing at that you understand what is expected of you on the field. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, it’s not easy to execute. We could take a deep breath, have a routine, and be locked in and not have any idea what pitch we are looking for to hit. And it won’t be real easy to hit if you don’t have the right approach at the plate. A lot of the beauty of this game is in the details of learning. That’s Baseball IQ. They are important lessons which must be learned and be made permanent so we can do the higher level stuff.
CB: Is there anything else you would like to discuss about your book? There is so much more that I haven’t even touched on.
GM: There are two big messages in the book. The first is getting a clear sense of who you are as a person and as a player. The second is to understand that trying too hard is just as big of a mistake as not trying hard enough. We, as a culture, have made it such an admonishment to have talent and not try hard enough. Usually when players don’t make it today it is because they try too hard.
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.