As we watched the playoffs we saw many situations where pressure is abundant during these games and for many teams to advance players need to be able to perform in these situations. So how do we play well under pressure?
I get many players that ask me the above question and it comes down to these 3 categories: Recognize, Release and Regroup.
Recognize the situation is pretty much self explanatory in that you see a situation that could cause you to be nervous, excited etc. When you are in that situation it’s time to release. You need to release this emotional reaction by doing a physical activity such as step out of the batter’s box, undo your batting gloves, look at your bat label, take a deep breath, blink and get back into the box. Pitchers might step off the mound rub the baseball or softball, take a deep breath and then get back on the mound. We call these routines – you need to find what routine works for you as a player and trust in it and use it during these times. Remember breathing is a very important aspect of the release group- allow the breath to guide you it’s an instinct, not a thought. As you finish your breathing now it’s time to regroup as we get back into the present moment to perform.
I would also like to add players need to trust in their training and practice during games. When a player has prepared for a situation through practicing and training they need to trust that all their hard work will lead them to success. So, I will leave you with this thought: the next time you practice remember what you spend hours upon hours for that’s right in situations that might face you in games, so TRUST in it!