Creating competitions in your practice & lessons, no matter the age or skill level is SO IMPORTANT!!
We do the same thing at our Packaged Deal clinics, including the pitching session, because at the end of the day, playing sports is about COMPETING, and every game will have a winner and a loser.
Competitions remind you that you’re playing FOR something.
And because you’re playing with something on the line, it’s normal to have nerves and an adrenaline rush – it’s what athletes feel on an EVERY DAY basis, and honestly, it’s the feeling that makes playing sports so special!
Performing Under Pressure
Practice and games FEEL different for athletes. Practice, on average, has pretty low pressure and low heartbeat. Games are the complete opposite BECAUSE you are playing for something and also performing IN FRONT of people.
In games, you have to be able to deal with those nervous feelings AND you still have to be able to find a way to perform to the best of your ability. It’s another reason why incorporating competitions INTO your practices is SO important so that athletes experience the adrenaline rush and their bodies getting a little tighter. Yet, they learn how to work THROUGH and WITH those feelings, instead of those feelings working AGAINST them…paralyzing them in games. where they don’t look like themselves come game-time.
An Example Captured at Camp
In Seattle, we had a TEAM competition (we broke up into 8 groups of 4) and we also had an individual “pressure situation” I’ll call it!
This video shows BOTH, but just wait until you see how this player performed at the end!
IT IS INSPIRING!! And it was one of my favorite Packaged Deal moments in the history of giving clinics!! What questions do you have about this team competition and pressure situation? What have you noticed about your team and/or pitcher when it comes down to competing on the field in games?