Justin Turner and the 4 R's
Originally published 6/26/2018
here can be a stigma around Sports Psychology and Mental Conditioning. Athletes may feel embarrassed that they need help with the mental side of the game, or sometimes it can be perceived as a weakness. Luckily, times are changing and 26 of the 30 Major League Teams employ a Mental Skills Coach or Sports Psychologist.
Professional athletes are adored and admired and they are now becoming spokespeople for the wave of Mental Conditioning cruising through athletics today. When I work with athletes it is awesome to be able to point to Professional Athletes, the best at what they do, and say “look, these athletes are working the mental side too! They are repping their mental skills just like you!”
Below is a quote from Justin Turner, the All Star Third Basemen of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In this quote, Turner describes how he uses Routines and Releases to get himself present, focused, and in a confident mindset between every pitch.
This is exactly what I teach the athletes I work with! Routines are based on "The 4 R’s": Recognize, Release, Re-Focus, and Repeat.
Recognize: Become aware of your negative thoughts, lack of confidence, anxieties, etc. "When I recognize I'm not where I want to be and I step out of the box."
Release: Doing something to release these feelings, almost like pressing the reset button. "I release the last pitch by undoing my batting gloves."
Re-Focus: Self-Talk, Focal Point, or Deep Breath to get the Athlete present and ready for the next play. "Then I pick a specific point on my bat and I stare at it. I take a deep breath that gets me ready to be on the next pitch."
By staring at a specific point of the bat, Justin is getting his focus back, he is simplifying his process, and he is getting himself present and in a "NEXT PITCH" mentality.
The 4th R is is Repeat: Be able to do this Routine again and again when adversity inevitably strikes again.
While Justin does not mention Repeat in this quote, it is safe to assume this routine is not something Justin came up with in the middle of his at bat. This is a habit he has repped and worked on time and time again. Practice does not make perfect, practice makes PERMANENT.
Every sport provides adversity, so honing the ability to repeat our routines help us release the negative and re-focus on the positive and the present.