NORFOLK, Va. - Breathe in. Breathe out.
"Near the beginning of the year I started trying these weird breathing techniques that kinda worked, so I wouldn’t be anxious when I went up to the plate," Old Dominion infielder Carter Trice mentioned.
As Yogi Berra said, "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
Berra's math may have been a little off, but the sentiment remains true. Baseball is a mental game, and for Trice, he found that breathing techniques helped in his mental approach at the plate.
"You’ll breathe in and in your head count to five.. you’ll hold it for five.. Kinda takes your mind away from man on third don’t strike out. Know what I mean?”
Safe to say the breathing techniques worked out pretty well for him. Trice led the team in batting average this season, hitting .355, in addition to leading the Monarchs in hits and doubles.
His performance earned him the Conference USA Freshman of the Year title, in addition to All-American accolades that keep piling up.
"It's cool and whatnot but It's not really why you play the game for the most part," Trice said. "You play to win games and have good teammates and whatnot, so it’s cool to see, but that’s not really why you play."
This season the Monarchs were playing to win a C-USA title, which they accomplished for the first time in program history. ODU then played in the Columbia Regional, where they feel just one win shy of an NCAA Super Regional berth.
"If we didn’t win a single game this year it still would have been the best year of my life," Trice said. "
As ODU now turns its attention toward next season, Trice plans on spending his summer lifting and finding ways to improve a few pesky stats.
"I led the team in strikeouts and led the team in errors, so I want to try to cut those in half," he said, also saying that he might cut a few things out of his diet as well.
"Chipotle every day and cereal, that’s pretty much the diet," Trice said, adding that he'll be trying to cut those foods out of his diet. "I've probably gotta get my diet back together. My mom got me a rice cooker and an air fryer, so I can cook at the house and don’t have to spend as much money either."
With plenty of time before the 2022 season, he's got lots of breathing room before he has to put his offseason adjustments, and breathing techniques, back into play.