Mental toughness

Just wanted to share a quick link today. This is an interesting interview with Bernie Holliday, whom the Pirates hired away from West Point as a mental conditioning coordinator in January.

How can game pressure be simulated?

Bernie Holliday: We’re introducing technology into the process. We will create personalized visualization scripts for the players. They’ll come up with the way they want to play the game, put together the scenario they want to experience and the way they want to perform in that scenario, and we put it on an iPod or iPhone and they can listen to it and rehearse it. They practice that visualization as we increase distractions, increase pressure. First they do it before going to bed, then before a workout, then they find ways to build it into momentary pauses within a ballgame. We’ve got crowd noise. We’ll get them physically exhausted and simulate the level of intensity your body experiences in a big moment.

It will be fascinating to follow Holliday’s work during his time with the Pirates.

Hat tip to thegreatchris.




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On this date in 1988…

The Pirates opened their home schedule with a 5-1 victory over the Phillies.  After two years of accumulating young talent, this home opener served notice that Syd Thrift had assembled a hard-charging squad.  First-inning triples by Barry Bonds (age 23) and Andy Van Slyke (age 27) yielded a first-inning run, and Bonds added a solo home run in the third.  A three-run double by Mike LaValliere (age 27) in the eighth inning put the game out of reach.  Doug Drabek (age 25) picked up the win with five innings of work, and Vincete Palacios (age 24) came out of the bullpen to shut down a bases-loaded, no out threat.

A crowd of 54,089 represented a new record for baseball attendance at Three Rivers Stadium, only 367 days after the previous record had been set.

Here’s the box score:

Here’s the game story:

John Lease

Don’t forget Turner Ward’s famous crash thru the outfield fence at 3RS…


I mentioned it on twitter, but did you(or anyone else) know that Dodgers outfielder Trent Hubbard also crashed through the same outfield wall that very same day in batting practice?

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