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We're all aware of the virtues of positive thinking, although I would venture to guess that few of us actually practice it on a regular basis. However when it comes to young athletes the power of positive thinking can do wonders to accelerate or damage your athlete's on the field success.


Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Either you think you can or think you can't and either way you are right." Over one hundred years removed from that quote Mr. Ford was right; the power of our minds to determine our success is indisputable. One's belief in his or her ability to achieve a specific goal or intention lays the rock solid foundation for it's attainment.


For a young athlete, particularly in a difficult sport like softball or baseball, his or her ability to develop a strong sense of belief in his or her on the field success is paramount to that outcome actually happening. Positive self talk is a great way to start your athlete on the right track for bolstering his or her belief system.


Positive self talk is success programming that the subconscious mind gladly accepts and acts upon. It is an easy skill to teach your athlete and one that he or she can practice and refine to improve every part of his or her game (as well as grades!).


Because softball and baseball throw so much adversity at an athlete his or her ability to bounce back from mistakes is crucial to both his or her mastery of and enjoyment for the game. Negative self talk after an error or poor at bat will only serve to perpetuate his or her poor performance as this kind of "past" thinking will rob your athlete of the present moment focus required for success.

Mariel in Districts 2.jpgA rock solid belief in his or her success by your athlete is a journey that will take time to cultivate and master. Positive self talk practiced on a daily basis will help to accelerate that mastery. Here are some baseball/softball related positive self talk "trigger statements" your athlete can start using today to improve his or her game:

  • I love to hit and can't wait to get in the batter's box!
  • I may have missed that last grounder but I'll get the next one!
  • I am a good player that enjoys the game regardless of the results!
  • I know I struck out three times last game, but today I get the opportunity to start fresh!
  • I love pitching and know I'm going to do my best today!
  • Maybe I'm not the best player on my team, but I'm going to keep working hard to get better!
  • I believe I'm going to have a great game today!
  • I believe I'm the best player who ever lived!
  • I love playing the game no matter what happens!

If you notice I have put an exclamation point after each positive trigger statement. I did so because each positive trigger statement should be accompanied by joy and conviction.


Instilling the power of belief for success is a great gift any parent can give his or her child, whether for the ball field or the classroom. Positive self talk is a great place to start building that rock solid belief and "can do" attitude!


Learn more about how your athlete's mental skills define her level of success at Winner's Edge Softball.


John's new book How She Thinks is How She Plays and The Game Changer Program: A Mental Skills Blueprint to Make Her to Best She Can Be are now available!


Be sure to sign up for John's weekly Softball Smarts Tips, full of fresh insights, tools and tips to help turn your athlete into a consistent peak performer that top coaches want in their program.

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Member since: Oct 7, 2011

Youth sports today is a crazy world of high expectations and high drama, where parents push kids and kids push themselves to be super achievers; but at what cost? Is playing sports a joy or is it a job for them? We cover youth sports from a unique angle.

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