• Billy

How I overcome the fear of failure

I know I'm not the only player who has heard the phrase, "Baseball is a game of failure." at least 1000 times in my career. It's easy to let that go in one ear and out the other, which a lot of guys do. But after years of struggling through college baseball, I've learned one important thing:

If you let the fear of failure control your thoughts and actions, this game will EAT YOU UP.

There is nothing worse than having the fear of failure consume you, especially in key moments of a game/season. I have been to the point where I am praying that a ground ball isn't hit to me so that I don't have to throw it across from 3b. I've been that guy that sits in his room constantly replaying a game full of bad at bats over and over in his head. Baseball can be a sadistic game, and it can drive you off the rails if you let it. But I have overcome that deep-seeded fear of failure by realizing a few things:

  1. A coaching staff would much rather see you throw an absolute seed over the 1st basemen's head than watch you nurse it across the infield.

  2. The frustration that comes from making an error while playing hard is much easier to deal with than an error made out of fear.

  3. Fearing failure is contagious; so when you display that energy, it can rub off on the players next to you.

You young guys that are reading this, if there is anything that I want you to learn from my mistakes it would be this:

Errors/bad at bats come mainly when you aren't playing the game with fire.

Are you horrified of making a mistake? Scared that you're not good enough to compete at the level that you want to?

Find. Some. Fire.

There are many studies out there that prove that our brains follow our physiology. In other words, our brains follow our bodies. If you aren't feeling confident, you literally have to carry yourself like you are confident. You need to walk around like you just went 4-5 with 2 bombs in the first game of a double header. Shoulders back, showing bounce on the infield, carrying yourself like you're begging for a ground ball to be hit your way.

Overcoming the fear of failure is a constant battle, and you will be in it for days, months, years. But the best guys in the world have mastered the concept of controlling their thoughts. . You will fail in the game of baseball, that I can promise you. But how you react to that failure, and how long you let the fear stick around, is entirely up to you.

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