Momentum In Baseball
Baseball is an amazing game of momentum, streaks and slumps. When your team is winning, and you have the momentum, it seems there's nothing that can go wrong. Momentum brings on a confidence and optimism that brings on a feeling of invincibility. Youth baseball coaches should explain to the kids the importance of momentum in baseball.
In youth baseball, it's essential we teach kids how to act when momentum goes the other way. Being on the negative side of momentum can have lasting effects on youth baseball players.
When a youth baseball player is experiencing negative momentum, it can result in decreased performance, self-doubt and lack of confidence; which results into a slump. Teaching our kids to overcome this adversity is the role of youth baseball coaches and adults. Our kids need to understand that remaining focused and self-confident, and having a positive attitude are key to breaking out of a slump.
I can give you two examples of major league baseball teams having their destiny intercepted by slumps and lack of momentum. The New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers were in a position to get into the playoffs in the 2007 season. But both teams collapsed in the last month of the season. And believe it or not both are in the same situation this year.
Is it just coincidence? I think not! Momentum, slumps and streaks take it's toll on the Psyche of the baseball players, managers and front office personal. When things go wrong some teams will make desperation moves to get back on track. But the reality is sometimes this backfires and causes team dissension, negativity, and eventually failure.
Fast forward to the 2008 season. At the end of August 2008, both teams again looked destined for the playoffs. The Mets fired it's manager earlier in the year, it seemed to right the ship. Milwaukee fired it's man anger with less than 20 games to go.
Now that it's late September both teams still have a shot at the playoffs but nothing good is happening. Could it be because the failures at the end of the previous year are still fresh in their minds?
Is it just coincidence or is there something to it? Many people don't believe in baseball karma but that is exactly what's happening. The failure of the previous year is leaving the organizations with self-doubt and negativity. Both teams have tried to break it by making drastic roster changes and knee jerk reactions.
The importance of momentum in baseball should not be understated, and being able to recognize and perform when momentum is and isn't going your way is critical for kids playing youth baseball.