Deep breaths into the woods, a little chatter and a lot of victory

Last season, the savages were in the top spot in their division for four months before collapsing. They finished with a record of 77:85, their tenth season of defeat in the last 15. One of the biggest culprits: the attack, which was one of the worst in the baseball league. Only three teams made fewer runs and these teams averaged almost 100 losses.

Forests will look very different this year. They have the best record in the League of Nations. Until Thursday, they were only behind the Yankees and the Yankees and Dodgers in terms of races. Their attack is more disciplined and patient, leading the baseball in the main percentages of the season, ranking 17th in this important statistic.

There are many reasons for the turnaround: new additions who are experienced bats (Mark Canha, Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar), returning players whose performance has improved after the downturn (Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor) and new batting coaches (Eric Chavez and Jeremy). Barnes). However, it is not worth leaving a lot of deep breaths and a little talk about yourself.

Watch closely the forest hits and you will see that their four best bats – Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Canha and McNeil – often step out of the batting box not only to reposition the punching gloves or look for signs from the coach. also to fill your lungs with air, calm yourself and focus.

It’s not unique to savages – Boston’s Rafael Devers, one of the best baseball players – does it – and it sounds easy, but “it changes a lot,” said 29-year-old Nimmo, a winger. “There’s a reason Pete does it, Jeff does it, and I do it.”

“It will definitely help,” added Alonso, the first player. “If you look not only at us, but at other boys, like any athlete, they have a way of using it.”

During the main season of a marathon 162 game, even veteran players may find it difficult to control their emotions. A relatively healthy and capable player collects over 600 recordings a year, and each plate looks like about four squares. Imagine being at the top of your mental focus for at least 2,400 squares, many of which come to you at speeds of over 90 miles per hour and throw in every direction and some in the game.

“In every situation – in every great situation – I would be lying if I said that my heart was not beating fast,” Nimmo said. “You’re overwhelmed by the anxiety you’re in. And the way to fight it is to try to take a little breath, take a deep breath and you can actually slow down your heartbeat.

But it’s not just the nerves that have to be fought, said winger Canha. From the beginning of spring training to the end of the World Championship series, nine months is almost a daily game. According to Canha, according to Canha, stopping deliberately in order to inhale during a blow forces him to pull himself together.

“It’s so easy to lose focus every day because it’s so repetitive and so monotonous that you need something to keep you dialed in,” he continued. “Otherwise, there are times during the season where you walk pointlessly and it’s like a routine and you don’t focus on what you’re doing. So it’s kind of the way I just get there and focus.

Alonso, 27, said he had always been good at breathing deeply and breathing slowly while beating. He said that spiritual skills coaches have helped him improve this approach.

“I’m thinking of my plan on the deck circle, visualizing where I want to see baseball,” said Alonso, who had a strong 2021 season but is on track to reach that peak this year (20 home runs, 66 RBI,. . “But when I get up there, I basically breathe and turn off my thoughts. The best thing is to feel numb in the box and I just trust what I see and move on.

Canha, 33, said that although she had read books on breathing techniques (“this stuff is a bit of a hookey”), she had developed her own method throughout her career.

“I’m sure I always breathe,” he said. “It’s important to just inhale and hear the breath coming out.”

When Nimmo reached the top leagues for the first time in 2016, he said Will Willznzner, then Forest’s mental skills coach, helped him learn more about the spiritual side of baseball and how it could help him succeed at the highest level of the team. Sport.

Nimmo said Lenzner helped him introduce visualization (the act of imagining success) and breathing techniques. During the bats, Nimmo steps out of the box, takes a deep breath, and then says to himself, “That’s what I want to do: I want to hit the line in the middle.” He said this would allow him to reset after each square, instead of letting his mind run out for a moment.

“Slowing your heart rate allows you to think a little more clearly,” said Nimmo, whose base career percentage is 0.388, including 0.361 this season, during which he has fought some injuries. “When your adrenaline rises and you get into an anxious fight-or-escape state, it shuts down the part of the brain that thinks critically.”

After a low season in 2021, when he achieved 0.679 with OPS 0.679, the 30-year-old McNeil is enjoying a recovery. With a record performance of at least 200 savages this season, he will lead by an average of 0.327. His .850 OPS was only behind Alonso.

However, no Mets striker can calmly make the opponent’s thrower more than Canha. Entering Wednesday, he saw 4.23 squares on the look of one board, the team’s highest mark and one of the best in baseball. His 0.286 hit average and 0.378 base percent were just below McNeil’s.

Canha is leading the attack, which hit the best in the MLB at 0.283, when the runners were in a point position, one of the most tense moments behind the plate, coming from behind 16 of 45 wins. Being on a plate, Canha doesn’t just breathe; he also talks to himself.

“It’s so that my attacks have a rhythm and I don’t forget or lose sight of my approach,” he said. “It’s like a mantra. It’s not the same thing every time. It’s just like, ‘That’s what you’re trying to do and stick to the plan.’

As he searched for and down the fast ball, Canha reminded him aloud. Asked if the opposing team would hear him or read him by the lips, he replied, “They don’t know where the ball is going anyway.”

Whether with the help of fresh oxygen or self-talk, the forest knows where their attack has gone this season. They hope this will help them reach the first place in the playoffs after 2016 and possibly the first Worl
d Cup title after 1986. In the meantime, take a deep breath into the Forest fans a few times.

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