Paige Tonz began playing softball at 8 years old. She has competed at many levels; starting with rec ball, moving to club ball, and competing as a D1 athlete at Northwestern University. Her mission and goal is to help transform girls into strong women beyond the playing field or court. She a is Creator of The Confident Athlete Program.
The Mental Part of the Game
It was the beginning of my senior year at Northwestern. The year I finally had my break through. The year I finally felt real confidence out on the field.
Before my senior year, I struggled hitting. I hit a whopping .131 batting average. It was rough. I had lots of slumps, strike outs, and just disappointment. I would go up to my at bat and all I could think was... "If I don't get a hit, they're going to pull me." And just that happened over and over again. I would get through my first at bat and get pulled from the line up.
I had so much self doubt as an athlete. I was afraid I would never be the hitter I wanted to be. It went like that from my freshman to my junior year.
Then my last year came around. I knew I had limited time playing the sport I loved. The sport I grew up playing. The sport I was always "so good at". I knew I didn't want to feel like I did anymore. I was over the frustration. I was over the sadness. I was over the constant ups and downs. So, I made some new commitments to myself.
I committed to having as much fun as I possibly could. I committed to just doing my best and showing up as myself. And lastly, I committed to the process. Telling myself, "Whatever happens, happens." What this phrase meant to me was that no matter what the results or the outcomes were, I was going to keep showing up as myself. I was going to keep doing my best and having fun in my last year in cleats.
All of the sudden, things started to change. I started getting more hits. I started staying in the lineup. I even had a few grand slams! I ended up doubling my batting average my senior year. I tripled my at bats. Most importantly, I had so much fun playing. I loved the game again.
This was all because I shifted my mindset. I started to think about myself differently, the game differently, failure differently, and even success differently.
When you think differently and work on your mindset, the results fall right into place.