True competitors are often very emotional. They have the tendency to get very excited when great things happen and get very frustrated when things go against them. This is the nature of a competitor.
You watch any game in person or on TV, there is a good chance you will see both sides of this. I was brought up to never do something that will let your opponents know that they are getting the better of you or do anything that would rub your success in their face. These traits, I believe, are a huge reason why I feel I was able to play for as long as I did with very average stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a learning curve. I had plenty of games, early in my career, where I let my emotions get the best of me, but I did get a grip on it. Through trail and error, it got to the point where I had coaches who would ask if I was happy with my performance or if I was disappointed. Of course I was happy when I did my part and the team won, that was my job, and of course I was disappointed when the team lost, but I would never let my emotions waiver. This is what I learned about myself and what would allow me to stay in the right place, mentally, to go out and perform outing after outing. Never get too high and never get too low. Stay even keel through success AND failure.
When you do see a player who has poor body language, you are seeing a player who is most likely one of the mentally weaker ones on the field. If they can’t control their appearance, in my experience, they will have a hard time controlling their emotions when they are on the mound or in the box in a big situation.
The player who is great at controlling their body language, in success and failure, is the player who is mentally stronger and will win the battle of longevity in the end.
Here are some examples of poor body language to look out for…
-Throwing their hands up in the air, or throwing their head back, after they think the umpire missed a call.
-Yelling at their teammates, while on the field, when they make a mistake.
-Striking out and slamming their bat, or helmet, on the ground.
-Yelling out curse words when they get to the dugout.
This goes for us coaches too. Remember, we are our Dudes role models. How we handle success, and adversity, is an example to them. We are telling them how we think it’s okay to act. With that in mind, keep yourself in check at all times.
Poor body language is a direct reflect of ones mental toughness. Learn how to control your emotions boys!