The Baseball Observer Nov-Dec 2015 vol 5 - Page 26

The Baseball Observer - Nov/ Dec 2015




Dr. Charlie Maher

Sport and Performance Psychologist

Cleveland Indians

1. What does it mean to be responsible for your emotions?

The emotions that can be displayed by a baseball player, on and off the baseball field, are many. They can run the positive-negative gamut such as: from joy and happiness at being successful during a game; to passion and enthusiasm for playing the game the right way; to indifference and boredom about one’s role on the team; to anger and frustration about not performing well, and many more emotions, both positive and negative in nature.

Emotions are part of a player’s everyday life and every game experience. How a baseball player feels and displays their feelings can be helpful or hurtful to teammates, coaches, parents, the individual player and to others. Emotions and how they are managed can help to make or break the individual as a player and as a person, over the short term and longer haul.

Emotional responsibility is a term that I have used for many years with professional baseball players and with athletes in other sports. Emotional responsibility has to do with the readiness and willingness of the player to learn about themselves and their emotions as well as to assume accountability for the management and development of their emotions.

2. What is it that a baseball player can control and not control emotionally?

The process of playing baseball can be taxing, grueling, and demanding, especially if the player really cares about the game, their development as a player, and their teammates. Routinely, players experience competitive situations where they are asked to remain focused, execute, and get the job done, between the lines. In addition, players also find themselves in situations off the field, when they have to remain calm and collected.

Within the course of the life of a baseball player and during each and every game, the player has the capacity to influence their emotions--- keeping them on an even even keel and working for them. Rather than control emotions, the player