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Learn how you can have a more positive impact on each of your players in The Confident Baseball Coach course.

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Explore different resources to ensure your children are having positive experiences within the game in The Play Ball Parent course.

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Discover basic procedures and standards within the game and effective communication in the Introduction to Umpiring course.

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USA Baseball is passionate about protecting the health and safety of all constituents within the game. Through the BASE, SafeSport, and Pitch Smart, and other health and safety initiatives, USA Baseball is working to make the game of baseball a positive and safe experience at all levels of play.

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 The Silver Rule: Speak to Ourselves the Way We Speak to Others
(4/12/2022)
 
 
   


Mental Skills
By Andy Bass


We all have a constant internal monologue. The number of words and thoughts humans have per day can be as many as 80,000. And some researchers speculate that 80% of those thoughts are ‘negative.’ While this article is not meant to challenge or disagree with any of those numbers… what we should consider is the word ‘negative.’

When we think of self-talk (the constant internal monologue that goes on in our head throughout the day) we think of thoughts as being either ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’

“Coach, my self-talk is really negative today.”
“I really wish I had more positive self-talk out there.”
“I Need to get more positive thoughts than negative ones on the field.”

Thoughts are not ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ in the traditional sense. What does that mean? Player A may say to themselves at the plate after swinging at a pitch in the dirt, “You are better than this! Get your head out of you rear end and get going!”—and to Player A, that phrase is motivating and drives them.

Player B may say to themselves at the plate after swinging at a pitch in the dirt, “You are better than this… get your head out of your rear end and get going!” – and to Player B, that phrase may demoralize them and make things worse. It is all a matter of perspective and interpretation. This one phrase (You are better than this. Get your head out of your rear and get going) is open to interpretation and has different effects on both players. Thus, the phrase cannot, by definition, be considered ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’

Where do we go from here? How can we create a bandwidth for our own self-talk? For one, we can think of self-talk as either ‘beneficial’ (i.e., Player A) or ‘detrimental’ (i.e., Player B). Furthermore, what is the Golden Rule? The Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we flip this sentiment, and substitute the word ‘speak’ for do, we get the Silver Rule… “Speak unto ourselves the way we would speak to others.”

One way we can help our players determine what is ‘beneficial’ self-talk is to have them become aware to how they speak to their teammates. Perhaps Player A would be comfortable telling a teammate “You are better than that! Come on get your head out of your rear and play like you know you can!” in which case—that is the kind of self-talk that would be beneficial for them. Player B, alternatively, may not be comfortable saying that to a teammate. They may instead feel comfortable saying “It’s all good. You swung at that one and will get the next one.” THAT is the kind of self-talk that is beneficial for Player B.

Self-talk is messy. Our minds can go to some extreme places, especially in a sport like baseball or softball. One step we can take toward dialing in, and bringing awareness to, our self-talk is to ask, “would I ever speak this way to a teammate?” If the answer is yes—that is beneficial self-talk. If the answer is no—then we need to work to limit that from our minds.



Andy Bass is currently a Mental Performance Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bass played college baseball at Davidson College and was drafted in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He received his PhD in Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior from the University of Tennessee.


 What's the Call? Definitions
(4/7/2022)
 
 
   


What's the Call
Presented with Umpires Media


There are no outs. The pitcher has a problem releasing the ball, so the ball bounces off the ground once and enters the strike zone. The batter reacts quickly and drives the ball into right field for a base hit.

Is this a base hit?

For more What's the Call videos, click here.  

Umpires Media is a leading provider of video-based sports rules explanations, maker of the world’s first digital baseball rulebook and the Baseball Rules Explorer.


 32 Degree shirt
(4/4/2022)
 
 
   


Monday Manager
By Tom Succow


In this edition of Monday Manager, four-time USA Baseball coaching alum Tom Succow analyzes a quick relay by the left fielder that prevents a possible triple.


Tom Succow is currently the assistant coach at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In 2017, Succow retired as the Head Baseball Coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, after 42 years at the helm. Succow accumulated over 700 wins during his tenure, as well as a state championship in 2006 and three state runner-up honors in 1982, 2007 and 2012. Succow is a four-time USA Baseball coaching alum, including an assistant coaching position with the 2003 16U National Team, which won the gold medal in the International Baseball Federation AA World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Succow was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as National Coach of the Year in 2007 and is a member of four Halls of Fames, being inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, the Brophy Hall of Fame in 2007, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.


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