We know how important the mental game is in all sports, but we never really see a true example of someone using mental training in their game, and then be willing to talk about it at the same time. Evan Longoria is the perfect story of how the mental game can take you from average to great. Not recruited by one division I school out of high school, he was barely recruited by division III schools.
After high school Longoria enrolled in community college, and was such a standout that he was offered a scholarship from Long Beach State University, and was moved over to third base. The most important thing that happened was when Longoria was introduced to Ken Ravizza a Kinesiology professor who preaches mental preparation and structure. He teaches players how to deal with, not dwell on, failure. Ravizza says the essence of his teaching is learning to be “comfortable being uncomfortable”.
Ravizza taught Longoria to have a “focal point” where he can focus after he makes a bad swing or feels like he has lost control of his emotions. All Longoria does is step out of the box and look at the top of the left field foul pole. If he feels he should have hit a pitch that he missed he will step out of the box and undo his batting gloves to “release” the pitch, and then step back in.
In the video at the end of the post Evan Longoria’s teammate Carlos Pena says, “His ability to be in the present moment makes him one of the best.” That ability to clear your head and play in the moment makes a great player. You often hear about players having short memories, and Longoria is the perfect example of this. He plays the game from pitch to pitch, playing in the moment. All of these techniques have lead to Longoria becoming a superstar in Major League Baseball. The video continues on to discuss Longoria’s visualization techniques as well as how his almost zen like attitude has made him one of the best to play the game.
Batting .347 with an On Base Percentage of .407 and Slugging .621 it seems that Longoria is continuing to impact the league on what many view to be the best team in the league right now.