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Fear of Failure: Overcoming the Negative Focus on Results


As a baseball player, hitting is one of the most important aspects of the game. However, every player experiences times when they struggle to focus and feel confident at the plate. This is natural, but for some players, the "fear of failure" can last an entire season or even shorter periods of time.


The fear of failure is defined as a negative focus on results, meaning that the player approaches every at-bat with a focus on the result and the negative implications of failing to achieve the desired outcome. This negative self-talk can be detrimental to a player's performance.


Examples of Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can be especially harmful to a player's performance because it can lead to a negative mindset. Some examples of negative self-talk include phrases like "Whatever you do, don't strike out," "If I don't get a hit, I'll let my team down," and "I have to get a hit, or we'll lose the game." By focusing on the result and thinking about the negative aspects of failing, the player is setting themselves up to accomplish the exact thing they are most fearful of.


Playing Fearless

One way to overcome the fear of failure is to play fearless. When players play without fear, they give their best effort and don't hold back. They play aggressively and take chances on the field. These are the same teams that can rebound from a deficit and find a way to win. Overcoming the fear of failure is a key component to developing that type of team. One method to instill fearlessness in your team is to encourage them to have a positive mindset.


Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is the opposite of negative self-talk. It's when a player focuses on positive outcomes instead of negative ones. Instead of saying "Whatever you do, don't strike out," a player can say "I'm going to hit the ball hard." Instead of saying "If I don't get a hit, I'll let my team down," a player can say "I'm going to do my best to get on base." Instead of saying "I have to get a hit, or we'll lose the game," a player can say "I'm going to do my best to contribute to the team's success."


Positive self-talk can help players overcome their fear of failure and focus on positive outcomes. It can help players stay confident and focused at the plate, which can lead to better performance. Coaches should encourage positive self-talk and model it themselves. When players hear their coaches and teammates using positive self-talk, they are more likely to adopt it themselves.


The fear of failure can be a major obstacle for players at the plate. By focusing on negative outcomes, players can set themselves up to fail. However, by playing fearless and having a positive mindset, players can overcome their fear of failure and focus on positive outcomes. Coaches should encourage positive self-talk and model it themselves to help their players stay confident and focused at the plate. Remember, the mindset is everything when it comes to hitting, and the power of positive thinking is not to be underestimated.

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