Psyched Online


SUBJECT: Off season
DATE: 5/18/02, 16:43

Hi. I’m 15 years old and am a starting pitcher on my varsity high school team. I have been pitching for the last six years and have had quite a bit of success. I had my best season last year, really dominant. However, this year I have had an extremely hard time throwing strikes or accurately in the field. I think this is a mental obstacle and not a physical one.

I read some of the articles on your site. I thought that the part about using creative visualization helped. I now try to see myself make solid throws and good pitches. Whenever I see myself make a mistake in my visualizations, I say “stop” and then repeat visualizations with me making an awesome play five or more times before finishing. I also started using positive affirmations, where whenever you start to doubt yourself, you suggest to yourself a positive idea instead. This gave me a positive image over a negative one and helped me with the tension I had before games.

I would like to know if there are any good techniques out there that can help me focus better during games. Thanks.


SUBJECT: Re: Off season
DATE: 5/20/02, 10:16

Response: First, I would like to congratulate you on being a starting pitcher on the varsity team. Also, you have made great use of our articles on creative visualizations (you’ve obviously read parts 1, 2, and 3) and attributions. It can be very confusing as an athlete to have such great success and then watch it drop off so suddenly. The longer a problem exists without resolution, the more it becomes an entrenched difficulty – like Chuck Knoblock. We don’t want that to happen with you.

Bringing the problem to a sports psychologist for consultation can be very effective and efficient approach. Together, you can explore answers to some of the following questions: Has there been any changes related to the team? How do feel about the new coach or other members of the team? Is your relationship with the catcher on good terms? Are there concerns about going onto college? Has your social life changed? In what way? What is your pre-event routine and is it working for you? Should I create a new routine? All of these questions might open the door to improving your ability to focus on the moment more efficiently. You should take a look at the article entitled “All We Got Is The Present” which will help you focus on the here and now. Let us know how things are going.

Paul Schienberg, Ph.D.