Earlier we discussed the idea of your pre-game routine. It was a brief overview of what a routine entails and focused more on the physical part to help get you in the right mindset. If you remember, the very beginning of the routine started with an example of listening to some music to begin the preparation process (even though the preparation process should begin the day after your previous start leading up to your current start) of getting your mind right. The Concentration Grid is a tool to help get your mind focused before you start your pre-game warm-up. This simple focus tool is being used by many professional athletes. As most people know, baseball is far more mental than physical so you want to make sure your mind is sharp and focused before you take the mound. There are apps you can download or you can print out concentration grids, whatever you’re more comfortable with. Below is an example of a Concentration Grid:
The idea of this tool is to get you to focus on one thing. You will be surrounded by distractions, but can you block those distractions enough to focus on the task at hand? You may find your own mind wandering, your teammates trying to ask you questions, some fans are being obnoxious or funny, or whatever it may be. You should try to focus on the chart for at least two minutes, going from number 1, to 2, to 3, etc. and see how close you can get to 99. It’s really not an easy thing to be good at and you will most likely find it difficult to get to number 25 the first few times. You will most likely get distracted multiple times, either by your own mind or by others. And that’s fine. Like anything else, just keep working towards getting better. Use multiple grids so you don’t start memorizing where the numbers are otherwise it’s not true concentration. This is a great yet simple way to start training your mind on how to focus and concentrate on the task at hand.