Baseball Mindset


The Power of Choice – I Get To

by Brian Walters


The mindset principles are a central tenant to mindset training. They are to be repeated on a daily basis due to their importance. The very first mindset principle is “I am thankful for the opportunity to compete”.  It is first for a reason and the reason being is it sets the tone for everything that is to come.


Each one of us has the ability to choose. You can choose to do extra reps or not.  You can choose to be honest with our accountability buddy or not.  You can choose to go public with your goals or not.  You can choose to take responsibility for your excuses or not.  The ability to choose is ours and ours alone.


Being thankful for the opportunity to compete helps get us in the right frame of mind. It is a switch from the negative to the positive. Being thankful involves humility.  Being thankful helps us transform our mind from a mentality of “I have to” to “I get to”.  Imagine if we replaced “I have to” to “I get to” in our daily lives how our mindset would change for the better.  As a father of four under nine years old, saying “I get to console my crying child” instead of “I have to get up with her again” is a game changer for how I approach the situation.  What does that sound like on the ball diamond?  It sounds like “I get to run poles”, “I get to do towel drills”, “I get to hit with the game on the line”, or “I get to hit with an 0-2 count”.  Notice how it is suddenly a challenge rather than a task.


Changing from “I have to” to “I get to” is a perfect place to utilize your reset button. The reset  button requires intentionality to pre-plan for when you will need to use it. This reset button is your trigger to direct your mindset to “I get to” when adversity comes along, when doubt creeps in, or when you just don’t want to do something.  For example, an umpire makes a bad call at home plate on a sacrifice fly in the final inning of a tie game.  You thought your team just won and now you are up to bat with two outs and no one on base. What a perfect opportunity to change your mindset from anger or anxiety to “I get to help win this for my team”!


Another mindset method is to attach this change in mindset to the use of an alter-ego. Your alter-ego will be used to help you get in the zone. You will need to create a name and list the attitudes or qualities you want this alter-ego to have.  Using the situation above, maybe you’re “The Machine” and every pitcher fears you, the ball is going to come in like a beach ball, and you own the plate. Be as specific as possible and make it real even having an image of what your alter ego looks like. 


Both the reset button and alter-ego require the use of a physical gesture that snaps you into the new mindset.  It could be a clap, or jumping up and down a couple times, shaking your head back and forth, or whatever will help you trigger your new response.  It triggers a change in mindset from the negative to the positive. It changes nothing in terms of your physical characteristics or skill level. What it does do is change your mindset which affects your performance.


This is the amazing power of choice. You get to choose your reset button and how it will be utilized.  You get to choose your alter-ego and the attitudes and characteristics it will have. It is your choice to be intentional in setting these up and being as specific as possible to be used when necessary. It is time to change your mindset to “I get to”.