We do a lot of talking about pitching, and baseball in general here, but sometimes we need a break, and we need to take care of ourselves mentally while we are off the field.
Why it is important:
- You need to be in a good mental space in order to perform to the best of your abilities.
- You don't want to burnout and become tired of the game you love, baseball should be fun, it shouldn't cause undue stress in your personal life.
- Avoiding the yips, nobody likes a case of the yips.
- Maintaining confidence in your abilities.
I will try to keep this one brief and more straightforward., as I received some feedback that these have been a little too long to follow. So, here are some strategies to taking care of yourself, mentally, off the field:
- Have a hobby besides baseball to immerse yourself in, it could be a video game, basketball, crocheting, or anything under the sun.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep at night, by avoiding caffeine, electronics and eating late at night. If you have trouble falling asleep, talk to your doctor, there are several over the counter and prescription medications that can help. (I had ambien for a while myself)
- Take some time to write in a journal a few times per week to get all your thoughts and feelings out.
- Don't dwell on mistakes you make in game or at practice, acknowledge them, and try to correct them in practice, but don't get too caught up in the things you did wrong.
- Focus on things you are doing well, and things that your teammates are doing well.
- Take some time to meditate once in a while, if you don't know how, look it up, there are several online resources on the subject.
- Make sure you are eating well, the way you eat effects your mental health as well as your physical health, in fact, they go hand in hand.
- Have somebody to confide in when things aren't going well, this could be a friend, a coach, a parent, a teacher, a counselor, a therapist, or anybody else you feel comfortable talking to about tough subjects.
- Of course you want to be friends with your teammates, but it is good to have friends outside of baseball too, to help you reframe when baseball thoughts become overwhelming.
- If you are feeling suicidal, depressed for a period of 2 weeks or longer, have trouble controlling your anger, have trouble focusing, etc. Don't be afraid to seek professional help, not only could it make your baseball performance better, but it could save your life.
Thanks for reading. Again, discussion is encouraged, what are some of your self-care tips off the field?
and of course, feedback is appreciated. I enjoy making these weekly posts, but if they aren't helpful then I don't want to be spamming up the forums.