Mental Toughness is Essential in Youth Baseball

Aside from innate baseball talent and pure baseball instincts enhanced by playing a lot, the best attribute a player can have is mental toughness or the ability to cope, adjust, and learn from tough situations and failure on the baseball field. Many professional baseball players have not lived up to their own or others' expectations because of their inability to handle stress and failure. They were stars or the game came easy to them and didn't encounter failure.

When they became pros and everyone has the same skill sets, these baseball players failed because they could only express themselves physically. The mental side of baseball escaped them. They never learned that success is a result of outworking, outthinking and outtoughing the competition.

As a youth baseball coach, you must identify what players can handle failure and turn it into positive performance. Find the mentally strong players who can remain coachable and learn through game experience while keeping their heads in the game.

The players who are weak mentally must be taught errors and strikeouts happen. Help these players avoid internalizing a failure. Tell them anyone who has ever played baseball has never gone a complete season without making errors or striking out. Internalization will always hurt the team. That's why we say "the play is over, next."

Fragile players can go either way. You need to stress the positive while working with them to help their mental and physical performance.

Withdrawing, sulking, blaming and name-calling are all signs of weak mental players. As a youth baseball coach you need make these players accountable and accept responsibility. The result will be mentally stronger and better baseball players.

Real baseball players never quit and never give up. All baseball coaches love those players, no matter the talent level. They always find spots in the lineup because they make their team better.