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The Habit Loop
When we build habits there are four stages we go through:
1. Cue (or Trigger)
2. Craving (or Prediction)
3. Response (or Action)
4. Reward (or Result)
This is commonly referred to as The Habit Loop and understanding how it works will help you cultivate new habits and break bad habits. As you start the habit loop on the field, your location is most often the cue. For example, on the bump or in the box.
After the cue hits (whether we consciously realize it or not) we have a craving.
Put another way, we make a prediction.
On The Bump
Trigger: Getting the sign from the catcher.
Prediction: I’m going to paint a hard fastball on the inside corner.
In The Box
Trigger: Pitcher comes set.
Prediction: I’m going to get a fastball away and drive it into the gap.
In the above examples, your prediction will be influenced by many factors – your experience, your feelings, your emotions, and perhaps most importantly, your thoughts.
What predictions are you making?
Tip: Become aware of the cue, and visualize a positive outcome. For example, a well-executed strike or a hard line-drive before each and every pitch. You need to frequently repeat this practice to help improve your habits.