The following is part one of a two part series that comes from "Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge" by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller:
The first step in asserting a positive attitude is to recognize the attitudes that you now bring to the game. A player must understand his motivations and desires in order to improve his outlook.
By sitting down and writing out the answers, you can gain a better understanding of your own attitudes.
1. How strong is my desire to be the best I can be? What price am I willing to pay? Can I work harder and put more into it? Do I want to work harder?
2. Why am I playing? What do I want to achieve by participating? Am I challenged to be the best performer I can be, or am I just trying to be better than those around me? Am I playing just to be with friends or to please or gain recognition from parents or family members?
3. Can I be a better learner? Do I have an open mind, and can I open my eyes to new opportunities to learn? Am I willing to try new things?
4. Am I treating my coaches, teammates, friends, umpires, and opponents with the same respect I’d expect from them?
5. Am I capable of following instructions? Am I doing what is expected of me?
6. Can I have better poise and self-control? Do I recognize times when a lack of poise has damaged my performance?
7. Can I be a better competitor? Am I fighting myself as well as my opponent, or am I competing with myself to do the best I can?
8. How do I want others to see me? What can I do to make it happen?
9. What are my attitudes toward all phases of the game? If I am a pitcher, do I fail to cover first base or back up plays at times? If I am a catcher, do I avoid practicing blocking balls to the dirt? If I am a position player, do I work as hard on base running as on hitting? If I am a hitter, what are my attitudes about being selective? Am I ignoring some of the less glamorous aspects of the game? Am I willing to give the extra effort to improve all parts of my game?
10. Am I intimidated in certain situations? Or am I the intimidator?
11. Do I ever catch myself thinking about not wanting to look bad?