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How To Mentally Prepare Yourself For Summer Ball

travel softball Photo by Brittany Murray_MediaNews Group_Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images.jpg
(Photo by Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)

Summer ball season is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Having a good mindset going into a season is crucial to reaching your highest potential and taking that next step in your softball career.

As potential college softball recruits, you need to make yourself stand out on and off the field to college coaches at tournaments and exposure camps. Focusing on having a good mindset and creating good habits prior to your season is something every young player should be putting their time into, especially if your goal is to play at the collegiate level.

Below are five tips to help you prepare yourself with summer ball approaching.

Make improving your goal in practice and training

It’s important to have a good mindset going into every practice and every training session as your summer ball season approaches. Try to zone in while you are at practice and aim to get a little bit better every day. Choosing one specific thing to focus on every time you train will allow you to get one step closer to your long-term goals. Having the desire to get better every time you touch the field can help you maintain your mental toughness throughout a long summer season, which can be grueling both mentally and physically. Use your past mistakes to fuel your work ethic and focus on becoming the best player you are capable of being.

Keep both short-term and long-term goals in mind

To become the best player you can be, you must look at what you want in both the short term and long term. When it comes to short-term goals, take each game play by play. Don’t beat yourself up over one mistake during a game. Understand that it happens to everyone and make a goal for yourself to make up for it in your next at-bat or the next play you are involved in. Understand your role in game situations and prioritize delivering for your team.

Having a long-term focus is also important when it comes to improving yourself as a softball player. Before each season, sit down and make a goal for yourself and your team. If your long-term goal is to play college softball, figure out what level you want to play at, whether that is at a small Division III school or a big Division I school, and don’t lose your focus.

Focus on what your vision is

As an athlete and a softball player, it’s easy to get caught up in what others say. When players don’t get validation from their coaches, friends or family members, they tend to get off track when it comes to their own focus. It’s okay to be hard on yourself because that means you care, but try to block out the noise and just do what you know you can do.

When it comes to the recruiting process, write your own story. Not everyone is going to support what you do with your career and that’s okay. Do things because you want to do them, not because others want you to.

Maintain your mental health

Being a softball player comes with inevitable stress. A lot of players experience stress in game situations, and also during the recruiting process. Going to endless college exposure camps and tournaments all while trying to balance a life outside of softball can cause burnout. By learning good and effective ways to deal with your mental health, you will have the ability to manage the stresses you face. Your feelings are valid, so don’t just shrug them off.

Have fun and be confident

It’s important to strive for your goals while also remembering why you started playing in the first place. Your summer season is going to drag along if you’re not having fun. Be confident in who you are as a player, and have fun playing the game you grew up loving. When you step on the field, try to relax and understand that softball is there to help you create memories and teach you important lessons for your future.

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