The Most Important Coaches Right Now May Be The Ones Focussed On Mental Skills

Christopher Walsh

You may remember the story BamaCentral did last year on how Nick Saban was ahead of the curve in growing field of mental health.

Now, during a time of uncertainty, a lot of Major League Baseball teams are using mental-skill coaches as a key part of their comeback attempts to the playing fields. 

Mental-skills coaches had already become more prominent in baseball recently, elevating the importance of approaching the game from more than a physical standpoint. These coaches have been vital in uncertain times as players attempt to get their bodies and minds ready with no set timetable.

So how do you prepare players when you don’t know when or how they’ll be playing again?

"A lot of mental-skills coaches right now say that it's really kind of showing how that the skills that they would normally be teaching them, they can work just as well for life as they do for baseball," SI's Emma Baccilieri said in examining the question.

"Things like setting routines, meditating, being mindful, being really in touch with your emotions, and how you're feeling and processing uncertainty. All of that, that's the stuff that they've been taught in the context of baseball but right now, it's really for just about anyone. It's really powerful as a tool to kind of navigate the uncertainty that everyone's going through right now."

In an unprecedented time of stress and anxiety, MLB teams' most valuable coach is one whose focus is off the field, and they have their work cut out for them. 


Austin Ekeler’s Underdog Story Is Complete . . . Almost

From a childhood spent toiling as a farmhand, to a remarkable high school career overlooked by every Division I college, to an NFL beginning as a fungible minicamp body, Ekeler’s climb to NFL stardom has been a long and patient one. And now, with the world changing soon after he signed his big contract with the Chargers, he’ll wait a little longer.

SI Senior Writer Greg Bishop has the story about the running back who came out of nowhere. 

Ekeler also touches on what it's been like navigating this offseason amid a global pandemic.


For Olympic swimmers, it's almost a waterless world

Imagine the exact opposite of Kevin Costner's old post-apocalyptic summer bummer: A world on the brink ... and scarcely any water to be found. With pools closed by the coronavirus, that's precisely the reality faced by today's swimmers, Olympians on down. And like that box office bomb's mariner, they're getting creative in fixing their sitch

A look at the different ways swimmers have trained to stay in shape for the now 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

For Olympic Swimmers, a Waterless World
Sports Illustrated

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Tyler  Martin
Tyler Martin


Good to see mental health at the forefront