When the Dodgers signed Mookie Betts to a massive 12-year deal back in 2020, the hope was that he would be a leader for this team in every facet of the game. He’s delivered so far, having huge impacts when it matters most.
As fans, we sometimes become numb to the human aspect of the game of baseball. We expect stars to deliver under pressure, for batters to always come up with big hits, and for nerves to never get in the way. In a recent interview on Talking Shop with Coach Ballgame and Coach Chop, Betts revealed that this is hardly the case.
I actually rely on breathing 10 times more than you would believe. I still now get anxious. I get, I wouldn’t say nervous, but butterflies.. that comes even in live bp’s against [Walker] Buehler on the backfields. That’s all the time. In those situations, well you are nervous – which there’s nothing wrong with being nervous. Just breathing slows the heart rate down and just slows your body down so you can make the decisions and really play like you want to play. You don’t want to have your heart racing and you go out there jittery. How I slow that down is breathing. If it’s a 2-2 pitch, I’ll step out, take a couple deep breaths, and get back in. Breathing is probably top 2 or 3 biggest things in my arsenal as far as just calming myself down and being in the moment.
Being able to relax in the box is one of the greatest talents players like Mookie Betts have. It’s what allows him to be calm and deliver in some of the most strenuous situations, such as this example from the 2021 NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 20, 2021
There is a reason that the Dodgers decided to give Betts $365 million to put on their uniform, and he has delivered for them time and time again. He has the ability to tune out everything else when the pressure is at its highest, and that’s something that the Dodger faithful will be able to enjoy for years to come.
Mookie Betts Offseason Hitting, Swing Mechanics Looking Great | Dodgers Offseason
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