Mark Brooks

Dealing with a baseball slump

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Plent of times during my baseball career, I have felt the emotional pains of a slump. When I was younger making an error or going 0 for 4 sometimes felt like the end of the world for me. I admit that a part of the reason why I let results affect me so much emotionally was because I was so passionate about the game. My first years of college, I felt like baseball was the only thing that could make me truly happy and truly sad.

Eventually as I got older I began to see the bigger picture. I started to realize that there was more to life than just baseball. Wait… Wait I know, you probably hate that phrase. I know if you’re willing to take the time to read this, baseball is a way of life and you can’t imagine doing anything else. I think its great for players to be truly invested in the game like that. But ask yourself. Do you play this game because you think this is your only ticket to success?

Or do you participate in baseball because it gives you a sense of purpose?

For me when I realized that playing baseball was a way for me to challenge myself to become a better person, things started to fall through for me. I started getting letters from scouts, my batting average started to rise, and I just started to have more fun. I could breathe!

As Domingo Ayala would say. I was no longer" semi-pro"

Having this new sense of purpose allowed me to handle failure in a brand new way! I knew that in tomorrows game I may go 0-4 or 4-4. It didn’t matter.

I learned to keep my lows high and highs low, and as I began to experience this new perspective on life I began to smile…..

Then I began to laugh.

I realized that it was silly to get so emotionally worked up about results in baseball. The truth is, nothing is guaranteed in baseball and more importantly, it doesn’t owe a damn thing to you. So the next time you find yourself complaining about how things should be different in baseball or life, take a look at what you “do” have.

Chances are if you have the legs to run on the field and eyes to catch a baseball. You have plenty to be grateful for. Yea yea, you might be reading this while your injured and you may be confused as to what the solution is for your problems, but even you have something to be grateful for. If you can focus on that, you’ll heal quicker, and find that your baseball dreams are coming true. Regardless of how bad things are at the moment.

You have the choice to make your own personal adjustment. If it's raining and you can't get on the field to practice, focus on indoor hitting drills.

If you have none to throw B.P to you, dedicate yourself to doing consistent tee ball drills.

It was this gratitude that gave me a sense of purpose.

When it comes to being in a slump, what really matters is how you deal with it. If you want to improve you have to be willing to commit to expressing the correct emotions and thoughts. This takes huge amounts of discipline.

Imagine how the greatest player in the world experiences a slump. He’s probably a master at staying determined, at keeping poised. A lot of times a slump isn’t really a slump; all a player needs to do is realize that failure is part of the process of success.

This is where the dualistic concept shows its self in the game. You can’t have success without failure. So the next time you fail remind yourself that failure is necessary if you want to learn and succeed. Overtime, you may even learn to appreciate your experiences of failure.

How much are you willing to fail to achieve your dream? Be willing to fail more than the next guy…then you’ll find yourself succeeding more than everyone.

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