Titans Embrace On-Line Sports Psychology Sessions with Dr. Preston to improve Mental Toughness

by Jim Stewart

The Titans Baseball Club has announced a new partnership with Doctor Cassidy Preston and his company “Consistent Elite Performance” to improve our players’ mental toughness.  A former OHL and professional hockey player, Doctor Preston encourages his young athletes to “Stop doubting yourself and play with confidence.” It is this spirit of positivity that Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera is so eager to instill in all Titans players:  “It is a pleasure connecting with Dr. Cassidy [Preston].  His background in mental health related to sports is second to none.  To be able to share his knowledge with our Titans family is an absolute blessing and will help each player’s confidence.”

Such confidence can be an elusive factor for baseball players. Baseball can be a sport that is dominated at times by failure.  Players need to be mentally tough to fight their way out of batting slumps, recurring errors in fielding, and lack of control in pitching.  To address these challenges, the Titans Baseball Club will offer four on-line sessions with Dr. Preston. This proactive strategy of interactive psychology sessions will help mitigate the effects of the Pandemic lockdown for our baseball community and complement the Titans virtual sessions being conducted over the winter by Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Alex Stewart, Pitching Coordinator Eddie McKiernan, and Hitting Coordinator Denis Bailey.  All four strategies are designed collectively to give our players an edge in the upcoming CPBL season and maintain a strong focus on offseason preparation.

he first sixty-minute session with Doctor Preston covers the following introductory details:  what Mental Toughness is, including the 5 Pillars; the 3 mental mistakes to avoid; the top 3 strategies to get into the 'ZONE' where we actually walk through creating a Reset Routine.  This is the top psychological strategy offered by “Consistent Elite Performance” to help athletes clear their mind and create positive imaging.  It is reminiscent of Kevin Costner’s famous statement “Clear the Mechanism” from the movie For Love of the Game (1999)that allowed his character Billy Chapel  to clear negative stimuli and ensure command of the strike zone in crucial points of the game.           

Session 2, with its focus on Motivation & Social Media Use, offers strategies about how to stay motivated and make the most out of this time—a very timely topic given how the Pandemic has challenged our players off the field.  Session 2 also focuses on how to be more mindful of phone use and developing healthy habits to optimize motivation and overall well-being. Session 3’s main theme is Confidence & Reflection and features a full breakdown on what confidence is and how to consistently play with confidence. Additionally, the use of self-reflection to stay confident and continuously grow is discussed to close out the session that uses recent findings in the area of metacognition to improve the life of student-athletes. In Session 4, Dr. Preston focuses our players on Mental Preparation, especially how to use imagery and routines to get dialed on game day. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity for our student-athletes to grow as players and gather coping strategies when life on and off the field becomes challenging. Mental toughness is a requirement of adult life as noted by Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera who “hopes that each Titan learns something from Doctor Cassidy [Preston] to help propel their game.”