2 years ago I wrote a blog about one of the most important skills/attribute any player can have CONFIDENCE!!!!!
Confidence is as delicate as an egg for some people as it can be shattered at any time. The truly great players always have confidence.
They pop up, make an error, give up a homer and you can just see that it does not bother them. They exude confidence. They are fearless.
I can see it in certain players eyes :
Some want the ball hit to them (i.e. Micky Pekins/Eric Z/Hector/Cabezza),
Others want to hit in a big spot (i.e. Gilberto Gonzalez/Butchy),
Certain pitchers want the ball (i.e. Murphy, Lou Gonzalez/Fran).
Whatever the case, as Eminem says "success is their only motherfucking option, failure is not". Great players have confidence all the time, lesser ones have it sporadically.
The biggest factor that erodes Confidence is Fear. I'm not talking about being afraid of getting beat up, robbed, or laughed at, I'm talking about Fear of Failure. Fear of Failure can either push you to play/perform harder or burn you up alive and cause you to freeze, press, and get tight. Once the latter happens, its a wrap - you are done.
At times in the past, heck even now sometimes, I've been afraid to fail. I've seen it in many other players. It's only "natural", but it is a counter productive "natural" that must be conquered. What gets me is that people are afraid to admit they are afraid. It's a man ego thing. We always want to prove ourselves and never admit weakness.
In the end, it all comes down to what FDR said so eloquently at his 1st Inaugural address
"The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself"
Believe that !!!!!!- ghetto ending but so true