In this morning’s recaps I made light of Steve Simmons criticizing Roy Halladay’s mental toughness, making an offhand remark about “pop psychology.” That, combined with my “swagger” post from last week may create the impression that I don’t think the psychological part of the game is important. Not true. I think it’s really important. I just think that writers tend to attribute far too much of what happens on a baseball diamond to psychological stuff when physical success or failure, support of one’s teammates, or chance has so much more to do with it. It’s more fun to write about things like mental toughness, however, because there are only so many ways to say that the Jays aren’t scoring runs for Roy Halladay.
But as this article profiling players’ use of sports psychologists shows, the psychological part of the game is very real and very important. And even if you’re not into this kind of thing, it contains a Bob Tewksbury sighting, and who doesn’t like Bob Tewksbury?