Memory Process For Baseball Explored

Memory Process VitalBy AL FIGONE, Ph.D.
Special To Collegiate Baseball

Baseball execution is a motor skill that requires precise coordination by the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and muscles.

These skills must be remembered by a complex process mislabeled muscle memory.

The memory is in the brain rather than the muscles. Players can improve this memory process

By adopting certain mental strategies that repeatedly reinforce the impulses sent from the brain to the muscles and the impulses returned to the brain from the muscles as feedback.

In competition, 0.04% of the time is active or requires an adequate level of concentration. 

In a two and a half hour game (i.e.9000 seconds), about six minutes (i.e.360 seconds) requires a hard focus or concentration by all players, except the pitcher and catcher.

Significant more time must be devoted to concentration because of the nature of these positions.

A critical aspect of coaching is to reduce distractions and train the mind to concentrate similar to reading for comprehension.

Distractions occur overwhelmingly between pitches before players engage in some form of physical execution such: hitting, base stealing, or, outfield play.

Causes of distractions are as varied as each player’s personality.

Nature of outcomes such as a strikeout, error in fielding, or picked off a base are some examples of events that may interfere with future performance when they inhibit activating concentration when needed.

Less than positive outcomes are inevitable, what matters is how players react to them. 

“Baseball is impossible without psychology: impossible to play, and impossible to appreciate fully as a fan,” stated Mike Stadler, author of The Psychology of Baseball, psychologist, and University of Missouri professor.

“Watch any game and most of what you see is thinking. Most other sports apply specific amounts of psychology to improve performance, but baseball is different because it gives players a lot more time to think before each action,” continued Stadler.

Some of the major leaguers’ extraordinary abilities to coordinate physical and mental processes include: faster reaction times, focus, and high visual acuity, according to Stadler.

A player has to be one of out of two million that possesses the total package of physical and psychological skills to succeed at the highest levels of the game, he concluded.

The Psychology of Baseball includes a significant amount of researched material, including several interviews with successful major leaguers and others who were drafted in the same rounds as those players who reached the majors.

But, for a variety of mental and physical reasons did not reach the highest level of competition.

For the complete story of the memory process for baseball skills, purchase the Sept. 6, 2013 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

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