Finally, A Step-by-Step System for Coaching Baseball's Mental
Game Provides Proven Ways to EasilyTeachConfidence, Focus, Mental
Toughness, and Re-focusing After a Mistake (and you can do
it during your regular practice time)
Listen to how one coach implemented this system to break through to the World Series after 12
years of coming up short. "We'd never been to the World Series in the history of our school..."
And click here for an article on how great their experience was at the WS
Which of these coaches sound the most like
"I am a high school baseball coach and
one of the biggest issues me and the rest of the staff deal with is making the players understand that failure is part of
the game and they need to learn to deal with it appropriately so it
doesn't escalate to the point that they have lost all focus."
"I NEED SOME EXERCISES TO TALK DOWN
NERVOUS PLAYERS AND TALK UP ONES AFTER A LOSS OF CONFIDENCE."
"How can I get my players to regain their focus after one bad play
or pitch? When one bad thing happens their performance snowballs down
"I SEE PLAYERS WITH TREMENDOUS TALENT AND GOOD MECHANICS FALL APART ON THE FIELD! How can
I help them play with confidence?"
"I know the mental game is important, but how can I really encorporate it
into our daily practice routine (we're stretched on time the way it is)?."
"How can I get my players to play "one pitch at a time" and forget every distraction that might
pervent him from doing the best?"
"I've got a lot of other things to do
besides the mental game. Do you have a step-by-step
guide that will help me keep focused on the stuff that will do the most
If you'd like answers to any of these issues, this could be the most
important letter you read this year.
Yankees Make Significant Improvements
"We made significant improvements in significant areas in 2001 throughout our
player development system, and Tom played a big part in our doing so.
"He helped us clarify our hitting philosophy in particular, which contributed to
our finishing first in baseball in statistical categories that are most important to us.
"Tom helped change the nature of the conversations in the Yankee system. We’re now
more focused on what’s most important. I recommend you let him do the same for you."
Vice-President of Player Development
New York Yankees
By Tom Hanson, Ph.D. Baseball
Confidence.com Written Friday, 11:33 pm
Dear Baseball Coach:
I just hung up the phone after a conversation with a coach who has lost two straight games in the last inning by
giving up 4 or more runs.
Three run leads in the last inning of each game.
In the first game his pitchers gave up three 0-2 base hits. In the second they walked 3 and hit
Gave the game away. (The technical term for this: choke.)
Have you been there?
I'll bet you have. Can you imagine how that guy feels? I'm sure you've felt the sting of a painful
loss of a game your players gave away.
That "knife-in-the-chest" feeling. That "punched-in-the-gut-by-a-heavyweight-champ" feeling. That "I-can't-
When it happened to me during my 7 years as a college head coach I usually felt hollow. An emptiness
inside. Sometimes I felt my insides get heavy and sink. Sometimes my gut boiled up in anger.
Can you recall a game you lost because one or more of your players choked? Where in your body did you
feel that tough loss?
What's The Problem?
Back to the coach I mentioned. Do you think this is a mechanical issue for his pitchers? Do you
think he needs to go back and work on balance and arm slot? After all, he saw his pitchers rushing and
dropping their release points.
Well, the mechanics may have been off, but WHY? What caused the pitchers to lose their
I think you'd agree that, assuming the pitchers had decent mechanics in the bullpen, the mechanics that
showed up on the mound were symptoms of something else.
Something bigger and more mysterious.
This is a mental game issue. The pitchers failed to keep their composure. They weren't focused
on "one pitch at a time." They lost their confidence and focus.
Pitching or hitting, when you lose your composure, your
mechanics go to pot.
The pitchers' mechanics fell apart because the players fell apart on the
inside. All the hard work they'd done on mechanics and conditioning were
flushed down the toilet by their emotions.
That's right, emotions. As much as we macho men don't want to admit it, baseball is a game
Technically speaking, the pitchers are perceiving the final inning as threatening in some way and a
flood of emotions are released into their bodies. As a result their focus goes down the tubes and they lose
control of their bodies.
These pitchers don't have the mental strength to handle the situation.
Their "emotional levees" can't hold back the tidal wave of emotion they are experiencing.
What's the Cost of Choking?
When the levees don't hold, when your players can't handle their emotions, you all pay a
W's become L's.
Fun becomes torture.
Former Brewers' skipper Tom Trebblehorn's line in George Will's Baseball: Men at Work is
pretty accurate: "Baseball has got to be fun, because if it's not fun, it's a long time to be in agony."
Think of all the hours you and your players
spend practicing, conditioning, playing...
Hours and hours on the field. Hours and hours in batting cages. Hours and hours in bull
pens. Hours and hours in the gym. Plus hours and hours re-playing the games in your head --especially
the ones you give away.
(If you're like I was as a coach you also spend hours and hours recruiting, prepping the field,
scheduling practices, making travel plans, getting umpires, dealing with parents, ordering equipment, and
picking up bag lunches.)
Then, after all that preparation, when the
big moment finally arrives, you watch in horror as one or more of your players chokes away
Or you experience the slow drip tourture of watching a good player under-perform for an entire
season. Or career.
That's not why you coach. That's not what you signed up for.
You love baseball and you want your players to have a great experience playing it. Your
players got into baseball because it was fun.
It doesn't have to be "ha-ha" fun all the time. It shouldn't be.
But playing great baseball is fun. Competing hard and winning games is
Taking a group of decent players and turning them into a team that kicks people's butts is
So the stakes are high: You're investing a huge chunk of your entire life
into baseball coaching and your player's mental toughness will largely determine
if that time is fun or agony.
Teaching only mechanics and strategy
and hoping your players can keep their focus and composure when the game is on the line is leaving the
mental game to chance.
This is not an option for a good
I've dedicated my professional life to helping people win the mental game and
I'd like to share with you some of what I've learned.
Let's take a moment and get a better understanding at what's really
Why Baseball is Really Two Games in One
I find it helpful to divide baseball coaching into two parts: physical and mental. Or, as Tim
Gallwey calls it, the "Outer Game" (physical) and the "Inner Game" (mental).
We're all pretty well schooled on the "Outer Game." We like things we can see.
You can see a guy's front foot fly open. You can see a guy lose his balance. You can see
his release point be inconsistent or his bat head dip.
We're also comfortable talking about these "Outer" things. There's nothing threatening about
talking about what a guy's back knee is doing on his pitch or swing.
But most players and coaches will tell you its how well a player does with his inner game that determines how well he plays in the
Confidence. Focus. Composure. The ability to free yourself up and let your talent pour out onto the
field; That's what's most important.
But typically, even though coaches know that the player's
biggest challenge is mental and emotional, they'll still focus on helping restore the player's
mechanics. Their hope is that strengthening the mechanics will make it easier for the
player to keep it together in a game.
This isn't wrong. It can work.
It's just that there are more effective ways. More direct ways.
"If the Mental Game is So Important, Why Don't Coaches Train the Mental Game as Well as they Train
the Physical Game?"
My experience tells me most smart coaches want to do more with the mental game.
I see three main reasons why coaches will say the mental game is most important but spend
little time working on it directly.
1. Expertise. If you're
not an expert on the mental game, it's not your fault.
It's unlikely that your coaches were great teachers of the mental game.
Even if one of your coaches was good with the mental game, it's unlikely that he had a systematic approach
to it. He just went with his gut and therefore he likely couldn't teach you what he did.
The mental game is a mystery to most. So where would you learn it?
There are some books out there now. My and Ken Ravizza's "Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game one Pitch at
a Time" and Dorfman's "Mental Game of Baseball" are quite popular.
Slowly but surely more and more mental game topics are showing up at clinics and conferences. But to have
expertise takes more than that.
2. Time. Your hitters have got
to get their hacks in. You've got to take tons of ground balls. You've got to get guy's bull pens
in. You've got to condition. You've got to do 1st and 3rds and bunt coverages and pick-offs and run
downs and cut offs and relays. You've got to recruit, schedule, and get the bag lunches.
(And then of course you may have to do your other, non-coaching job.)
Who's got time for mental training? If it can't be incorporated into what you're already doing, it's
pretty tough to think you're going to make time for it.
(Don't feel bad, I was paid very well by the Yankees to teach the mental game, but even being there full time I
wasn't given scheduled practice time to teach).
3. Money. It's no news to you that
you don't have major college football dollerros. With the price of equipment and travel, your budget is
stretched with essentials.
Bringing in an expert will cost you several hundred dollars at least, more likely a few thousand $$. If
you're a top DI team, maybe that's no problem. But even pro organizations site money as an issue.
So due to a lack of expertise, little time and little money, most coaches approach to the mental game ends up
being "you've got it or you ain't:" Recruit the mentally toughest kids you can get and hope for the best.
But baseball doesn't care about these obstacles to coaching the mental
If you neglect the
mental game you will be penalized.
You may or may not
end up paying that penalty from your wallet, but you'll for sure have emotional payments ripped from
The Problem, in a Nutshell, is... The mental game is vitally important (it largely determines baseball as agony
vs. baseball as fun), but shortages on expertise, time and money keep most coaches from using the
many proven strategies for improving the mental game.
Here's a Solution
I'll bet if I woke you up at 3 a.m. and said there's a team waiting at your field right now wanting to learn
cut-offs and relays you could stumble right out there and teach them well. (With the passion you have for the
game, I'll bet not only could you do it, you would!)
Same with bunt coverages. Same with hitting or pitching mechanics.
Why? You know the fundamentals and you have a
system to teach them.
Players need to understand the fundamentals of the mental game
just the way they need to understand the fundamentals of bunt coverages. And cut offs.
And their own physical mechanics.
And you need a way to teach them.
One thing I can tell you from my experience as a Division I hitting coach, college head coach, mental game
consultant to the Yankees and Rangers, coach to Fortune 500 executives and Wall Street stock traders and successful
Anything done well consistently is done with a
I like the acronym for S.Y.S.T.E.M. I saw somewhere:
Things done well consistently are done with a system. Hitting, pitching, fielding, recruiting, field
maintenance, statistics keeping, burger making (McDonalds), coffe making (Starbucks)
car making (Toyota), merchandise selling (Wal-Mart)... anything.
Show me consistent excellence and I'll show you a system.
But as you know, you need expertise and time to develop an efficient, effective system.
I've spent the last 20 years solving this problem. So to save you
stress, time, energy and money (and emotional agony), I'll let you
copy my "step-by-step" system.
I've broken the system into 4 steps:
Step 1. Take the "Coaching the Mental Game
This is a 4 part tele-seminar I recorded with Dr. Ken Ravizza which features topics such as:
to Get Players 'On Board' with Developing their Mental Game Skills"
to Teach Pre-Performance Routines so Your Players are More Consistent,”
to Work on the Mental Game During Practice,"
to Give Feedback," and
to Work Effectively With Parents."
This is the absolute cutting edge of baseball coaching for confidence, focus and
consistency. It provides you with a foundation for teaching the mental game.
You'll be confident you know what you're talking about when you hear two of the most experienced
mental game coaches in baseball cover this topic.
You can get the transcripts of the calls and access to the audio recordings of the calls
immediately so you can start your training today.
Step 2. Take Your Team through "Confidence Conditioning
My "Confidence Conditioning for Baseball" program teaches the fundamentals of the mental game to
players. I could have called it "Winning the Mental Game 101."
Delivered via 2 CDs and a workbook, it essentially allows you to have me teach your players what they
need to know to:
Take control of
their own confidence levels -- don't let them be victims of their circumstances
Stay focused in any situation (I tell how Hank Aaron beat death
bleeding -- recover fast from the inevitable mistakes they make
Play consistently at or near their best (this to me defines mental
Players can condition themselves to be confident in the same way they condition themselves to be
physically fit. The second CD contains over 15 mental training exercises your players can put on their
Ipods so they can condition their confidence any time, any place (you don't
have to be there, you don't need to take practice time).
Step 3. Take Your Pitchers Through
"Dominate: The Hanson Method for Pitching with Total Confidence,
Composure and Consistency -- Regardless of How Good Your Stuff Is"
This program takes the fundamentals covered in "Confidence Conditioning" and shows your pitchers how to
develop a rock solid pre-pitch routine.
A pre-pitch routine is a "mini-system" that enables pitchers to be successful consistently. This is
the essence of pitching. Executing his routine should be a pitcher's primary focus on the
A 68-minute DVD and 50+ page manual takes you and your pitchers step-by-step through my method
for being totally confident, totally focused, and able to handle the adversity that comes their
Watch the DVD, fill out the 1 page forms and they're ready to take the field.
Step 4. Take Your Hitters Through "Zoned-In:The Hanson Method for Hitting with Total Confidence, Focus,
Composure and Consistency"
This is a 1:45 minute DVD (yes, 1 hour and 45 minutes) and 75+ page manual that covers both hitting and
defense. Like "Dominate" this program builds on the fundamentals in "Confidence Conditioning" and gives
you a step-by-step approach to developing an all-important pre-pitch routine.
Stop giving away at-bats. Start having consistent, high quality ABs that come from your
players have a systematic mental approach at the plate.
Simple wins. Watch the DVD, fill
out the 1 page forms and they're ready to get "Zoned In."
You're welcome to invest in any of these programs individually elsewhere on this site, but I've
packaged them for you in case you're serious about taking your coaching to the next level and would like to save a
bunch of money.
In other words, if you want to Save Yourself Stress, Time, Energy, and Money, get...
"The Step-by-Step System for Coaching the Mental Game"
This complete Baseball Coaching kit
1. The "Coaching the Mental Game" teleseminar with myself and Dr. Ken Ravizza
2. "Confidence Conditioning for Baseball" PLUS... a license to copy the CD's and workbook for each
member of your team and coaching staff. ($97)
3. My pitching system: "Dominate: The Hanson Method for Pitching with Total Confidence, Composure
and Consistency -- Regardless of How Good Your Stuff Is" ($67)
4. My hitting system: "Zoned-In: The Hanson Method for Hitting with Total Confidence, Focus,
Composure and Consistency"($67)
That's a nearly $300 value, but I'm offering it today for just $197.
So for less than the price of one decent bat you can have
a complete, simple mental game training system that is easy to implement.
"Here Are Some Concerns Coaches Like You Have Had..."
"I'm no psychologist, I don't know enough to be messing with their
If you think this, I've got a newsflash for you: YOU
ALREADY DO MESS WITH THEIR MINDS. EVERY DAY. EVERY NIGHT.
What you do, how you do it, what you say, how you say it, how you look at them, how you react to their play
all messes with their minds.
You can't not mess with their minds. Whether you are a head or assistant coach you profoundly shape
their experience in baseball. Their lifelong memories of baseball will have you center stage.
You have no choice about that.
But you do have a big choice to
A. Do you want to turn a blind eye to their minds and simply hope for
the best (the approach taken by the captain of the Titanic), or
B. Do you want to deal powerfully with the reality that this game is mostly mental and
its about time you coached it that way?
"How can I know this will really work for my players?"
If at this point you're expecting me to promise you that I can wave my wand and turn your team into
champions, you're going to be disappointed. I can't promise you that. I can't even promise you my
system will win you a bunch more games.
If someone promises you his mental training program will guarentee a championship, cover your wallet and
But you know Major Leaguers like Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Alex Rodriquez, and Roy
Holliday have discussed the benefits they've received from mental training.
And you know virtually all top major college program such as:
University of Tennessee
California State University at
Long Beach State University
And many, many more...
wouldn't think of taking the field for one game without investing considerable time doing mental training (based
largly, if not primarily on the techniques contained in "Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game One Pitch at
You’re at a huge disadvantage vs. other teams if you aren’t training your
If you were playing against a team that was using metal bats, would you want to use
wood? Of course not.
Competing without the best in mental training would be even less wise.
World Series Champion
“I had the ability but it wasn’t showing up on the
field. My main problem was I was thinking in the wrong direction: I
was channeling all my power in the negative. You helped me turn those thoughts around and it
was like fireworks going off. I knew what I needed to do but it took you bringing them
out. I’ve seen nothing but my game flourish since we started talking. I used to try to
look good; now I’m playing with passion.
“People are fools for not seeking coaching on the mental game. What I’ve
noticed at the higher levels is that a lot of guys get help with their focusing because it’s an
edge. At this level, at any level, you need all the help you can get."
2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox
Note: No White Sox player rose to the play-off and World Series
pressure in 2005 more than Scott. I met him in 1998 when he was playing in the Rangers’ minor
league system and I was consulting with that organization.
State Championship Game
"THANK YOU - I am a high school baseball coach and can honestly say that using your
mental techniques has been instrumental in our success. I made a concerted effort last year to
implement the mental side of baseball more into what we did. I knew we had a talented team (as we
always do) but for some reason, we were always getting knocked out of the state tournament in the
first (sometimes second) round. With more focus on mental skills, we made it to the
Washington State 3A Championship game before losing 7-4. TALENT CAN BE BEAT, BUT TOUGHNESS
WON'T BE BEAT. Thanks again."
Klayton Wyckoff, Head Baseball Coach ,West Valley High School,
"How old do my players need to be to really get this
This material has been used successfully by kids even under 10. Simple wins. So I keep things as
simple as possible. Success with the mental game revolves around just a few simple ideas.
Having said that, the material is intended for players 13 and up.
But the big issue is that YOU get it, that YOU understand the mental
game. Even if you never had your players listen or watch the CDs or DVDs you can learn
to teach this stuff by watching the programs and teaching it in your own words at the level appropriate for your
You are the key variable.
A League Championship Story
"I appreciate your advice on helping my son through his batting slump. Just to
refresh your memory, My son plays on an 8 yr old "kid pitch" baseball league for our local
municipality. Evan began running into a bit of a slump midway through the season and I grew very
frustrated in my attempts to coach him out of it. The "pitch/hit" technique you taught me worked
wonders. We practiced the technique for about 20 minutes one night before his game and that night
he went 2 for 3. He progressed extrememly well throughout the remainder of the season.
"In fact, we made it all the way to the Plumstead Minor Prep Championship game. Our boys found
themselves down 6-1 in the top of the 3rd inning and roared back with hot bats and smart base
running in the bottom of the 4th. Evan's bat was responsible for our only run in the 2nd inning. He
also started our rally in the 4th inning where we went up 10-7 and ultimately won the
"From one coach to another, I want to thank you for the advice as our boys benefited immensely. I
have attached a picture of the teams post game photo."
Steve Grzymkowski Pipersville, PA
note: This hitting drill is on the "Zoned In" hitting
"This all makes sense to me and I know the mental game is hugely important, but even
$197 is a lot of money for my program right now."
Fair enough. I've been there. But good grief, get creative (call a parent or two, a local
business, have a bake sale). But to ease your mind even more I'll offer you an...
Iron Clad Guarentee
If you aren't satisfied with the program after 90 days, simply return it and I'll
refund your money.
Coach, Here's a Summary of this Special Report
1. The mental game is vital to success in baseball coaching. The countless
hours you spend preparing for the big moments can be flushed down the drain by a tidal wave of emotion.
In other words, your players can choke. (Sometimes coaches choke by not preparing their players
2. Since few coaches have received any training in the mental game, it's unlikely
you've had the training, experience, and time to develop a system to teach the
fundamentals of the mental game the way you have all the physical, or
"outer" aspects of the game.
3. I've spent the last 20 years of my life figuring out how to win the mental
game via formal education, scientific research, and coaching major league and amateur
players and coaches.
I've turned all I've learned into a simple system for mental game
4. You choose:
a) Wait for yourself to develop your own system (over the next 10 years or so), or
b) Pay me thousands to come talk with your team one time, or
c) Pay $197 and get my "Step-by-Step System for Coaching the Mental Game"
If you choose a), Good Luck. I know you can do it. Please write me
when you get it done.
If you choose b)Click here to email me and tell
me if you'd like to discuss my talking with your team or at a clinic.
If you choose c) Click the red button.
Choose powerfully, and choose now.
Dr. Tom Hanson
P.S. In review, you get a recorded 4 hour seminar with Dr. Ken Ravizza and myself covering
Coaching the Mental Game (plus transcripts), you get the "Confidence Conditioning for Baseball"
program, along with a license to copy the program for your players so they each have it, my pitching system
"Dominate: The Hanson Method for Pitching with Total
Confidence, Composure and Consistency -- Regardless of How Good Your Stuff Is" and my hitting system:
"Zoned-In: The Hanson Method for Hitting with Total
Confidence, Focus, Composure and Consistency." Bought seperately these programs would cost you nearly
$300 plus shipping, but you pay just $225 plus shipping.
P.S.S. Baseball is a mental and emotional game. Much of whether the emotions you
experience this year (and next and next and next) are of fun or of agony depend on how well you teach the
"Take Advantage of this Opportunity"
I’m a better coach because of my conversations with Tom. His knowledge, experience,
caring and humor are a unique combination and I highly recommend you take advantage of the
opportunity to learn what he teaches.
Brian Butterfield, Third Base Coach, Toronto Blue Jays
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"We made significant
improvements in significant areas in 2001 throughout our player
development system, and Tom played a big part in our doing
you let him do the same for you."
Newman Vice-President of Player
Development New York
"Keep the great email coaching
seminarscoming. Not only
do we use them as board material, but we discuss the articles
with our players at our weekly "mental meeting"Thanks!
Brett Merritt Assistant Baseball
Coach New Mexico Military