Now that the 2010 season is beginning, every Red Sox fan from Maine to Japan must swallow hard and acknowledge that the Yankees are No. 1. It’s not the best news in the world for anyone who bleeds Red Sox red, but it not’s the end of the world, either.
The Show must go on, and maintaining a positive attitude is the first step toward achieving success — in life and on a baseball field. In fact, Dr. Michael Miller, psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and editor of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, says talent alone won’t help people reach their goals.
"It's not enough to be talented," Miller explains. "You have to do something positive with your talent. This often amounts to making a commitment to learning your job, so that you're ready to carry it out when you're called on."
And in baseball, as in life, you may carry out your job perfectly and still lose.
"But if you've made a positive commitment to doing your job well, it's easier (although not exactly easy) to carry that feeling out onto the field and perform in high-pressure situations with thousands or millions of people watching," Miller notes.
Since baseball is a game of adversity and failure is a constant possibility, using visualization techniques helps clear the mind of negative thoughts and unnecessary clutter to provide a mental road map for what needs to be done.
See the ball, hit the ball.
Pound the strike zone.
Why do you think it’s called the power of positive thinking? A positive mind anticipates happiness and expects to excel.
The beauty of a new baseball season is that everyone starts with a clean slate and hope. The defending champion Yankees are 3-1 favorites to win the World Series this season, but the Red Sox – along with the Phillies – are not far behind at 13-2 odds.
It’s anybody’s year, and you can’t win everything without believing you can win everything.
As legendary Yankee Yogi Berra famously said: "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
The Red Sox already believe they’re built to win. Now they have to prove they have what it takes to unseat the Yankees and be the last team standing.