Staying Positive

The freshman center fielder was having a tough day. In his first four at bats, he struck-out three times and grounded into a double play. It would have been easy for Mikie Mahtook to get frustrated and impatient.

Instead, Mahtook worked even harder during his next two at bats. In his sixth at bat of the game, in the 11th inning, he hit a run-scoring single that gave the LSU Tigers a 6-5 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the first game of the College World Series finals.

Having confidence: One of the most important aspects of hitting is confidence. If batters come to the plate thinking that they can't get a hit, they probably won't. It is much easier to put the bat on the ball if an athlete expects to get a hit. In LSU's big win, Mahtook stayed confident even after he had four negative at bats. In his fifth at bat he punched a little single for his first hit of the game. That gave him confidence for his sixth and final at bat. He knew he was able to make contact, and he was able to hit the ball hard and win the game for the Tigers.

Teammates: It is important for teammates to help each other stay positive. The rest of the Tigers knew that Mahtook was having a tough day. They had seen him strike out and noticed that he was frustrated and upset. One of his teammates, outfielder Jared Mitchell, told him not to worry. Mitchell even predicted that Mahtook would get another chance with the game on the line and that he would get a big hit. Mitchell helped give Mahtook confidence, and Mahtook was able to use that to hit the game-winner.

Not giving up: Just because an athlete is having a bad day, that doesn't mean that they should give up. The great thing about sports is that there is always another chance. If athletes are confident in their abilities and have the support of their teammates, they can make the most of those opportunities.

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