Professional baseball players are some of the most disciplined, hard working athletes out there. With 162 games to play per season, and very little room for error, it is essential for these players to stay at the top of their game mentally.
I have been absolutely obsessed lately with learning the habits and mindsets of high performance individuals–whether it’s CEO’s in the boardroom, or baseball players on the field–these people all have something in them that drives them to be the best.
I recently landed an exclusive interview with New York Yankees outfielder, Cameron Maybin, who was kind enough to share his thoughts on what it takes to perform at the highest level of sports.
Learn what the Yankees’ Cameron Maybin does to stay sharp…
How do you stay sharp–during the season especially?
I meditate a lot. I make sure I get at least 5 minutes of meditation in every day. Meditation, visualization works for me.
Do you do any specific style of meditation?
No, I just try to get in my own mind, think about deep breathing and slow my heart rate down, try to visualize a lot.
How long have you been meditating?
Probably since about 2017.
Why’d you start?
Just trying something different. You get used to doing the same thing over and over, year after year, and it gets boring in life. I just try to try new things, better self care and self help. I found that I really enjoy meditating daily.
What’s the biggest difference for you? What’d you notice?
Just a calmness. It’s easier to slow my heart rate down. When things speed up, it helps me find ways to slow things back down. I’m trying to embrace the moment. So I think that’s something that has really been a help to me.
Do you think it has any impact on you physically?
I don’t know if any type of meditation is going to physically help me, but mentally it definitely helps me a lot. Your body is going to give you what it can in the long season like what we have, but mentally, yeah.
If you miss a day, do you notice a difference?
No, not really. I haven’t missed a day in a long time. It’s 5 minutes! We all got 5 minutes. Sometimes it may not be 5, it may not feel like 5, it may be 3…but I make sure that I take a second, close my eyes, find a somewhat quiet area–If it’s not quiet, I put my headphones in, listen to some soundscapes and some nature, try to disconnect for at least 5 minutes.
You’d be surprised. We all got 5 minutes.
When somebody first mentioned it to me, I’m thinking “I don’t have 5 minutes–to sit down and breathe!?” but it’s crazy, it has helped me deal with people and situations.
Everybody has some level of anxiety. If you have a job there’s gonna be some anxiety, some level of anxiousness. For me, it helps. It’s easy to get anxious, especially doing what we do, when you’re under such a microscope.
Do you think anyone can benefit from this practice?
Absolutely! Just my personal opinion, I think so.
I think sometimes we forget to just take a deep breath, so just 5 minutes of breathing–I feel so much better. When you talk about that weight being lifted off your shoulders–I feel like sometimes doing that–taking a step back to disconnect, I feel better.
Was it hard when you first got started?
Yes, because I was really focused on 5 minutes and that 5 minutes felt like 30 minutes when I first started! Now, I kind of got it figured out as far as [timing].
Sometimes I might listen to a nice song, and if the song is on, I know this song is 3 to 4 minutes long. 5 minutes is just a baseline. It might be 10 minutes, could be whatever.
I just try to take 5 minutes a day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I might look up and I’ve meditated for 15 minutes or 20 minutes today. Sometimes you need it!
I’m in here with Aaron Hicks every day, (laughing) sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and deal with this guy.
Interview credit: This interview was conducted on my behalf by Joe Mauceri, who is regularly up at Yankee Stadium covering sports for PIX 11 News. Thank you, Joe for the awesome interview!