Inside Pitch Magazine, September/October 2018

The Change Up: Know Your Mission

The Key to Consistent and Confident Performance 

By Harvey Yergin

TableKnowing why you play baseball is vital to your success as a player and teammate. The “why” behind your daily actions is your mission. A clear, personal and achievable mission allows you to play for a bigger purpose and breeds true confidence. A confident baseball player will more consistently perform at or near the peak of their capabilities.

We can probably all think of a player or coach who carried a consistent confidence despite day-to-day circumstances. Conversely, we all know someone who and one who did not share this mindset. One of the differences between these people is their mission. For example, here are a few characteristics of a mission-driven player vs. a non-mission-driven player, in the image to the right.

The mission-driven player achieves consistency and confidence because they are not consumed by day-to-day wins or losses. They attack each day focused on a vision much larger than any particular day or event.  They’re able to do this because a clear and personal mission provides the following benefits:

DIRECTION: Your mission drives you even on the days you do not feel good.

DISCIPLINE: Your mission pushes you to work hard and do the right things even when you do not feel like it.

FOCUS: Your mission keeps you focused on the bigger picture and goal.

STRESS MINIMIZATION: Your mission puts small set backs in perspective.

INTENSITY: Your mission defines your approach to the game by narrowing your focus on achieving a greater goal.
 
You can take the first steps toward more consistent and confident performance by developing your own personal mission statement. Start by asking yourself and truthfully answering the following questions:

  1. Why do I play baseball?
  2. What things would I want my teammates and coaches to say about me when my career is over?
  3. What attitudes displayed by others impress me the most?
  4. Given my answers to the last few questions, what type of player do I want to be?
  5. What do I want to accomplish in baseball?

Think about your answers carefully. Answer them as truthfully and with as much as possible. Once you have answered these questions, draft a mission statement for your career.

For example, "I play baseball because I enjoy the competition and the camaraderie with my teammates. I am a tireless hard worker, selfless leader, supportive teammate and diligent student of the game. I am working hard for an opportunity to play baseball in college."

Write your mission statement down and put it somewhere you can see it often. Before every workout, practice or game, remind yourself why you are doing it. This will be the essence of your focus and the foundation of what will be your consistent attitude and approach. It will get you through the tough days and make the good days that much sweeter!

Inside Pitch Magazine is published six times per year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt association founded in 1945. Copyright 2020 American Baseball Coaches Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is impossible to make such a guarantee. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers.