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  • Weekly therapy improves performance, says Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen

    Photo Credit: Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG/Daily Breeze

    Professional sports are rife with mental stressors. In Major League Baseball players perform while dealing with hecklers, the risk of disappointing their own fans, being criticized on ESPN, and the possibility of being benched or cut from the team. In a recent article in The Daily Breeze, journalist Bill Plunkett wrote about Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and his journey dealing with adversity with the help of a mental health professional.

    Should professional baseball players work with a therapist?

    Jansen finally admitted to himself that he needed help last year, wrote Plunkett. Jansen had dreamed of pitching in the final innings of the last game of the World Series. However, when the moment arrived he sat the bench due to his preceding rocky performances. This motivated Jansen to meet with a counselor for “mental training” including weekly telehealth sessions and daily exercises.

    What are mental strategies that help professional baseball players?

    Jansen realized that he was his own worst enemy, wrote Plunkett. Jansen realized that he needed to let go of trying to control what was outside of his control. How the media and fans discussed him was outside of his control. He accepted that he would be blamed for the teams losses since he is a relief pitcher. Recently, when Jansen has performed below his standards he has focused on the problems he can control such as his pitching mechanics. Focusing on and solving the problems he can control has helped him to become one of the few relief pitchers in MLB history to record 1,000 strikeouts with one team.

    If you are interested in learning more about if working with a mental health and sport psychology professional would helpful for you then schedule a free phone consultation.

    Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.