Cubs World Series Hopes May Depend On a Throw to First

It is a big day! A curse could be broken after 108 years. Goats are just the start of this story. As a life long cubs fan, it has been a pleasure to see the confidence and dominance that our Cubbies have had throughout the year. It seems like they their innocence and swag propels them through high pressure situations and could end the longest drought in the MLB….last time the cubs won the World Series, the modern day zipper wasn’t even invented!

As a student of the mental side of the game, baseball fascinates me.  As a fan it terrifies me! With game seven TONIGHT, one of the Cub’s aces , Jon Lester, may be asked to come in to bring home a ship. Here is the deal…

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Well this isn’t just a one-time deal. Lester seems to have a mental block of catastrophic size and it could just cost us the game. You see the Indians are one of the best baserunning teams in the league and despite the arm of Castillo behind home plate, runners could be running wild! A dream for a base runner…. But a nightmare for Lester.

Think about it. A throw to first compared to pitching against the best hitters in the world! This is a situation where the casual fan CAN say “gosh, I can make that throw” and be correct! Should I go into details about the difficulty of each? I don’t think I need to.

 The Cub’s southpaw decided to just stop throwing the ball to first all together!  Take a look.

Who knows if he plays or if he gets in a position to throw to first. But cmon guys, the mental side of sports is vital! Coming from a guy who gets paid 155 million dollars to throw a baseball, he can throw the ball to first! I don’t know Jon, but I would guess he is pretty good a visualizing strike outs… but doesn’t spend too much time thinking about his pickoffs! PLEASE JON… spend some time visualizing success here so it doesn’t cost us a World Series!

At Pro Performance we are all about the Mental side of sports since it is absolutely critical at all levels. Jon clearly is experience performance anxiety which is causing him to struggle with the simplest of tasks. Because of past mistakes, he fears making another, and no matter how hard he tries not to think about missing the first baseman, he can’t stop thinking about it. The more he thinks about it, the more his thoughts materialize and he is likely to embody his most dominant thought and make an error making a simple throw to first base.

While this seems so basic on the surface there is a lot more to it. Our subconscious minds are extremely powerful. Through proper training and repetition Jon has developed amazing subconscious habits and neural pathways to throw a strike against a world class batter. He hasn’t however created these same habits through practice for throwing to first base. This makes him doubt himself and get out of his supercharged subconscious mind and into the conscious. Finally, it is a very tough challenge to make ourselves not think of something. Instead, we have to work hard to think about something else.

Hopefully, Lester will practice, have confidence in this simple task, think about something else (like “hit the glove” instead of “don’t blow it”), and lead the Cubbies to victory! #flytheW

Jordan