Becoming a better player takes both physical and mental adjustments. Physical practice requires a location and some equipment, but mental practice can be performed just about anywhere.

Belly breathing is a technique utilized to calm down the mind and the body. For high energy players this can be the best mental tool available. Too much stress can result in poor performance on the field. In the same manner, not enough stress can also result in decreased performance. What you need to find is the amount of stress that suits you best.

Positive self talk is another way to practice your mental skills. This exercise is exactly what it sounds like. You can either speak positive words to yourself in your head or aloud. This typically works best on belly breathing exhales.

The last step is visualization. If you are practicing all three steps together, this comes last. This is best performed without belly breaths, in an entirely relaxed state. Visualize everything in your story. This can include a certain baseball field, pitcher and situation.

? Make a picture in your head, what do you see, smell and hear? How does the ball or bat feel in your hands? Visualization can be a very effective tool. See yourself hitting a line drive, effectively executing a pitch or making a play on defense. You can preface the situation with a bad call by an umpire or by envisioning a stressful situation. Keep the results as positive as you can, this can take some practice.

? By using these three steps together or in succession, you can greatly increase your mental abilities on the field. Many college and professional teams practice these techniques. This may seem odd, but they are committed to being an elite team on the mental side, just as they are on the physical side.

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