To succeed in softball, athletes need to possess the proper tools. Aside from gloves, bats and cleats, the right mindset is also a necessity on the diamond. But what does it mean to be mentally tough? When adversity strikes, how can players rebound and focus their efforts on improving?
Professional softball player Amanda “Chiddy” Chidester has experienced a handful of setbacks in her career. Rather than give up on the game, she channeled her mental toughness to achieve her goals. Having the right attitude can help you push through challenges as you work toward your own softball aspirations. Discover how you can remain headstrong with your play with these softball tips for mental toughness training.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
According to Chidester, a key to being mentally tough in softball is looking inward when challenges arise. When a setback occurs, evaluate your approach and be honest with yourself. This portion of mental toughness is important, because how can you regain success without studying the challenge first?
“I was a part of the national team in 2012 going all the way through, and in 2019, I was cut. Devastating to say the least,” Chidester recalls. “I needed to check in back with myself, and that’s hard to do. You have to ask yourself some honest questions, and it’s not always what you want to hear. ‘How do I come back from messing up? How do I bounce back? How do I hustle? How do I this, how do I that?’”
After you’ve taken a moment to understand the situation and asked the hard questions, you can begin to improve.
THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
After being honest with yourself, you might discover you’re holding a lot of negative thoughts. Having a fear of failure can be a normal reaction; softball is a game of failure after all. But Chidester says dwelling on this can be detrimental. Instead, take your negative thoughts and reconstruct them for a more successful outcome. “If we can change those into positives, ‘I’m going to see this ball. I’m going to make this throw. I’m going to play to the best of my ability.’ That fear of messing up and doing those things, it’s going to start fading away,” Chidester says.
BONUS PRO TIP: Struggling to accept mistakes on the field or at the plate? Take these additional Pro Tips from Amanda “Chiddy” Chidester and work to overcome your fear of failure in softball.
MAKE IMPROVING YOUR GOAL
Once you’ve changed your thinking and harnessed some positive energy, now it’s time to respond. Be confident in yourself and your training, according to Chidester. Remain focused, driven and understand your next opportunity for success is on the horizon.
“I want to be the absolute best, so every day I wake up and I’m just like, ‘Let’s go.’ I want to be the top player. I want to have those little kids be like, ‘Oh, I want to hit like Chiddy.’ And if you have that ‘want’ to get better, I mean, that’s the secret ingredient right there,” Chidester says.
Having that desire to improve can help you maintain mental toughness throughout your game. If you aspire to better yourself, then each achievement can feel more fulfilling. Also, once you’ve gone through an initial challenge, you can apply those lessons in future situations.
Adversity is going to appear in any athlete’s career. Those who are mentally tough can push beyond the challenges and come out stronger. With these Pro Tips, you can strengthen your mindset and prepare for whatever the game throws at you.