Ok, so last time I wrote about Consistency and just laid down the foundation for some future blogs on the topic. I touched a bit on how consistency is really just a thought away. I also touched on emotions and that is really where it all starts. So what I wanted to rap about this time is habit of thought and how to go about creating the habits of thought that are going to head you in the direction of what you want in your baseball career or life for that matter.
Your thoughts and emotions basically go hand and hand. They are like best buddies. Your thoughts don't want to go anywhere without their partner, Mr. emotion. This is how it all starts: you have a thought, during these thoughts that you have there will be an emotion that comes with it. If you can be aware enough of your emotions and what you feel like while these thoughts go in and out of your head, you will know where you are heading in your career and life. For example, Johnny is ten years old. He has trouble throwing strikes when he is on the mound. Parents are screaming at him to throw strikes, the coach is screaming at him to throw strikes and his teammates are doing the same. The next day Johnny is relaxing by himself and playing some video games. As he is playing the video games he remembers what happened in yesterdays baseball game. The thought comes through his head that he is not a very good pitcher. Immediately after thinking that thought he felt a weird feeling in his gut. It felt like failure, pain, maybe even guilt. Well, in that moment his emotions are letting him know that the thought he is currently thinking is not serving him. The thought he is thinking feels bad because it is not really true. Yes, Johnny had a bad outing the other day and couldn't throw strikes, but this doesn't make him a bad person or even a bad player, it just means he has some work to do to get better.
Ok, so what work does he have to do to get better? Well, right now I guarantee everyone who is reading this blog is saying he may need mechanical work or maybe he should get a pitching coach or maybe he doesn't practice enough during the week. Each of you would probably be very right in all of those answers except I want to play devils advocate here. The physical work is definitely a part of the process, but what should really come first? The emotional/mental process or the physical process? For most everyone, especially the kids, the process would always start with the physical work and then somewhere down the line the kid would be good enough or not to continue playing. But what happened if the kid started realizing that his habit of thoughts and the feelings that come with those thoughts are leading him closer or further away to the goals he wants to accomplish in life? Would he want to know this information? And wouldn't it be better to have this information sooner then later in their life's journey?
This brings us to the purpose of this blog, habit of thought. As soon as we wanted to or would be inspired to, we should start to take care of our habit of thought. We do that by being more aware of how we feel and then making statements or creating thoughts that assist us in feeling the way we want to feel. The Universe is a very powerful place, I think we could all agree on that even without getting to deep into this. But if we can believe, as I mentioned in the first "consistency" blog, that our thoughts create our success, then we need to address this as soon as we can. If you are a parent reading this blog you could do many things for your kids to create a positive and uplifting environment for them to succeed and get better. If you are an athlete reading this blog then you have the inside route to success and a long, healthy career that most would never know about. Now, this doesn't mean others will not have success if they don't know about this, they will, many do!! The point is that if we can learn about our thoughts and emotions and practice the mental/emotional game we want, then we can deliberately create a career we want instead of thinking we are at the mercy of politics.
The next step is pretty simple, be aware of how you feel. So after reading this blog sit for a second and try this exercise. Make a statement that makes you feel a fulfilling emotion inside your gut. A feeling like appreciation, love, joy, anything like that. It can be a statement about yourself, a friend, a family member, whatever creates that good feeling emotion. Now, on the flip side, think of something that makes you feel an emotion like anger or frustration. Do you see how your thoughts are creating emotions inside you? Which statement made you feel better? Which statement do you think would better serve you in your career or in your life? This is what habit of thought is all about. As we practice good feeling habits of thought that is what we get back in our life. The success/consistency can come immediately, it really doesn't take long. But, if you have been (for the lack of a better word) a negative thinker for a while, it just may take a little bit to tip the scales and see the consistency on a normal basis. Trust me, you will see a difference in your performance immediately, you just have to be patient to gain the consistency based on how good you are at practicing the thoughts you want to have in your life.
So get to work. Start being aware of how you are feeling and if you don't like it, then make a better statement to get you on track. More to come on this soon.....pitch well everyone!!!