In an interview with Doctor Tom Hanson in 1990, Musial stated, “I didn’t guess, I have a sixth sense. I knew what the pitcher was going to throw and I was almost always right.” The top athletes, at any level, can virtually “predict” the outcome of a play, shot, or at-bat. I know this sounds crazy, but it is real.
Baseball Hall of Fame legend Hank Aaron was quite possibly the best hitter in the history of baseball with unmatched consistency. Aaron attributed much of his success in baseball to his mental preparation before and during games. He said his ability to study pitchers and visualize success helped him guess what pitches pitchers would throw to him.
“I would start visualizing myself, like I’m standing at the plate, with runners at first and second, or second and third, whichever, how he’s gonna pitch me in that given situation. Then I would start visualizing, for example, if the bases were loaded, how he would try to get me out, or go after me. Then I would look at it, for example, in the eighth inning, seventh inning, sixth inning, and I would put myself in all of these different positions and put him in the same positions and try to figure out what is going to be best and what I am going to be looking for. So, I visualize all these different situations.” said Aaron. Interviewed by Dr. Tom Hanson (1991), Aaron explained just how he prepared mentally. “You visualize it. No question about it. You see it in your head, you think about it, and you understand that no matter who you’re facing or who you faced the day before, it’s not the same, every pitcher is different,” said Aaron (Hanson, 1991).
We’ve been taught by other great athletes about the power of seeing success in one’s mind before it happens. Michael Jordan has said he made more free throws in his mind than he ever did in his career. Jordan would visualize himself succeeding at Basketball, then get to the court and execute his visions.
Nolan Ryan said: “Before each start I sit in the clubhouse and analyze the other teams’ hitters. I concentrate on visualizing what I’ve done in the past to get hitters out, consider his strengths and weaknesses. I just sort of run through the line up in my mind; it’s a pre-game ritual that reinforces the fact that I’m mentally prepared to pitch effectively.” (Nolan Ryan’s Pitcher’s Bible by Nolan Ryan Copyright © 1991).
The San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series. As you saw in the video clip Giants’ shortstop Edgar Renteria hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to clinch the win. What’s really interesting was that Renteria told his team mate Andres Torres he would hit it deep before he did it! “I got confidence in me,” said Renteria.”
Can great athletes really “predict” their success? Not in the mystical sense of predict. Wictionary.com defines predict as: “to state, or make something known in advance, especially using inference or special knowledge; to foretell, foresee or prophesy.” The point is that supreme levels of confidence combined with the power of mental rehearsal allow you to feel as if you can “predict” or know in advance the outcome of a shot, play, or at-bat.
Have you ever told a teammate or competitor: “This shot is going into the center of the hoop,” “this ball is going right at the flag,” or “I’m going to nail this routine”? Ok, this might sound like cocky athletes just having fun, but can we agree that many top athletes think this way?
What about the opposite… what happens when you visualize a shot, play, or routine and you see or feel only failure? You are still “predicting” the outcome. But rather than success you are “predicting” your own failure.
Athletes with supreme levels of confidence can almost “predict” the outcome of their actions because they do not guess or say “maybe I can be successful” to themselves. They have a deeper level of confidence, such as Hank Aaron, who absolutely knew he would succeed every time at-bat. Did he succeed every time? No, he succeeded one-third of the time, which is success in pro baseball. He failed two-thirds of the time at bat, but he still continued to believe in his preparation, ability to focus, and past consistency.
How can you learn to “know the outcome” in advance?
Peak One Performances’ Confidence Conditioning can help you;
1. Learn how to visualize and see yourself succeed.
2. Learn to how to create unstoppable confidence in competitive situtations.
3. Learn how to use a performance routine in competitive situations.
4. Many other techniques designed to help you stay focused, have confidence, and “predict” your performance.