Using the Daily Physical Routine to Gain the Mental Edge
Anything that can give players a mental edge is beneficial. Learning to use the every day physical routine can give this desired mental edge.
When I worked out in the off seasons during my major league career, I did not do it to look good on the beach. Of course, the goal of the physical workouts was to gain strength, but just as important, it was to gain the mental edge, necessary for the long season ahead.
Every time I lifted a weight or ran a sprint, my thoughts were on how this physical training would produce base hits and great defensive plays, not for how much strength I was gaining.
Any actions that help athletes gain a mental edge and mental toughness is good preparation for the coming season. Many of the little actions in one’s daily routine can help with the physical development that leads to a mental edge.
1. When taking a bath or shower, players squeeze the washcloth out of water until dry, before repeating. This action builds up hand, wrist, and forearm strength, necessary for good hitting and throwing.
2. When walking up steps at home and school, players should take two steps at a time.
3. When tying one’s shoelaces, instead of sitting down, players do a deep knee squat to tie their shoes.
4. When lying in bed or on the couch watching TV, players set the remote control or their drink down near their feet after using so they have to do sit-ups in order to grab it. Strengthening the core muscles is crucial for the baseball actions of hitting, fielding, and throwing.
5. While eating, changing channels, combing hair, and with any other small use functions, players perform these tasks with their non-throwing hand. These actions build up greater feel and dexterity with their catching hand.
These are just some examples of using the daily physical routine to build strength and gain the mental edge for the coming season. Even if great strength does not come from these daily physical routine actions, the mental edge gained is worth it.