Let me tell you about Cody. I met Cody about 6 months ago after his dad reached out to me concerned about his performance in baseball. Cody was a superstar athlete whose potential was through the roof, but he was struggling to see past his mistakes which caused him to be hard on himself and frustrated constantly with his performance. He decided to dedicated practice to developing his mental game skills and has experienced incredible growth. Now, he is able to show up at games joyful and energized, ready to play freely, and leaves games knowing he did his best. His story is an AMAZING one and I am so thankful he was willing to share.
Meet Cody: 10-year-old baseball (6 years) and basketball (4 years) player with BMX, wrestling, and swimming background
What were some of your biggest mental game challenges before we started working together?
“Perfectionism and expectations, because I really wanted to be good and I never stopped to look back at all of the good I’ve done. I only focused on what I did bad and improving that. This slowed me down because (after a mistake) I would think things like … that was an easy play, am I a bad player? I used to beat myself all of the time. I care so much that if I mess up, it’s a million things I caused that are bad because I just made one error. I would think, “why did dumb me make that error”. “
When you started working with me, what were some hesitations you had?
“I’ve never heard of someone who does that so I was confused. I was surprised that there are people who teach mental game skills to kids as a profession. I already knew it (my mindset) was important, I just didn’t know how to fix it. During our sessions, I have my notebook and pen and write stuff down. Then, before every game, I read through my whole notebook.”
How has your performance changed since you have taken time and energy to work on your mental game skills?
“It has made me happier with what I do. I feel like I can be satisfied with what I did well that game, instead of dwelling on what I did bad. And, just knowing that its ok to make mistakes.”
How has the mindset shift of focusing on what you did well instead of on mistakes changed how you think about practice or games?
“I am more joyful and relaxed throughout the game because I know the only person who can put pressure on me is me, so I am doing my best not to do that. I feel a lot more energized throughout the game and not down all the time because of the 1 error that I made yesterday (at the game).”
What would you say to an athlete who is struggling with some of the things you have been working through in your mental game?
“Just keep doing your best to focus on what you did well that game and really celebrate it and don’t pay attention at all to what you did wrong that game or practice because all it does is weigh you down. Most of the time all of the bad things you think after the game because you made an error, are not even true such as “I am a horrible player because I missed an easy ground ball”.”
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you in the past 6 months?
“I feel like I have been able to live with the mistakes I make and let them go in the game a lot easier, and not let the things that I can’t control affect me… Like the inning ending double play that my teammate hit into that isn’t my fault, but I am still aggravated about it… that doesn’t happen anymore. “
What is one mental game tip that has been the most helpful for your mental game?
“Only focus on what you did well in that game and don’t pay attention to what you didn’t do well. Like the 1 error you made all tournament … you shouldn’t focus on that, you should focus on how good you did the rest of the tournament and how awesome that is. Don’t be mad about what you can’t control like your teammate that got picked off because they didn’t get back in time, or when they got caught stealing when they didn’t get a good enough jump… you should focus on what you can do like what you are doing in that moment and ponder on that and tell yourself all the things that you can control about the game and do those things well as opposed to fixing a teammate and you cant do that.”
Cody has learned the power of letting go of expectations, moving past mistakes, and focusing on what you can control to improve focus during games. He has experienced more energy and confidence as he now creates momentum from game to game. The mental game is a process and I have been blessed to work with this incredible athlete on his journey. I am excited to see what the future holds as he continues to push past his blocks and fears to experience more success and joy in all of his endeavors.
If you resonated with Cody’s story because you (or an athlete you love) knows what it is like to leave games frustrated and down on themselves. OR you desire to learn the mental game skills that will allow you to experience less frustration during games so you can focus and stay committed to your goals, then contact me today! To sign up for a no-cost Performance Check Coaching Session with us, visit MGPCOACH.COM/PERFORMANCECHECKSESSION