The Mental Performance Training Behind Baseball’s Biggest Story of 2021
Corbin Burnes burst onto the Major League Baseball scene in 2018 when he went 7-0 with a 2.61 ERA helping the Milwaukee Brewers to a NL Central league championship and a game 7 in the NLCS vs the LA Dodgers.
2019 was not as kind to the right handed pitcher. Corbin started the season in the starting rotation for the Brewers and ended the year with a 1-5 record and 8.82 ERA, one of the worst ERA’s for any starting pitcher in the game. After being sent down to the minor leagues and back to the bullpen, the Brewers eventually sent Corbin to their pitching lab in Arizona.
While visiting the lab at the Brewers spring training complex in Arizona, I met with Corbin at my house for the first time. We went to work on refining his mental game and routines both on and off the field.
After a successful shortened season in 2020 where he was 6th in the NL Cy Young voting, 2021 brought even more success. Corbin set a MLB record for starting pitchers by recording 49K’s (and counting) before issuing his first walk, besting the previous record of 36.
When you combine the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he is 3rd in the MLB in wins above replacement (WAR) at 3.7, which is only slightly behind Cy Young Award winners Shabe Bieber (4.4) and Jacob deGrom (4.3).
You could say that the turnaround has been completed, yet Corbin would tell you the turnaround is always under construction and that there’s no finish line in the race he is running.
In this podcast, Corbin and I talk about the mental performance skills he works to develop to give him the best chance for success on the mound including:
- What he uses most from The 30 Days to MPM for athletes program and why he looks at it every day
- His Daily Routines on and off the field including his AM and PM Routine
What he tracks with his Daily Success Checklist
- Why he reads The Daily Stoic, The Mental ABCs of Pitching and The Execution Chapter on a consistent basis
- Why he calls Dr. Rob Gilbert and Success Hotline as a part of his daily drive
- What he learned from UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre about self-control, Signal Lights and Mental Bricks
- How he uses the app, Calm Meditation as a part of his recovery protocol
- How and when he uses Mental Imagery, visualization and his mind movie
- How and why he uses concentration grids as a part of his mental performance training program
- Why and how he does weekly Shadow Bullpens
- What he does for a post pitching performance analysis to keep him focused on the process
- The details of his 120 Hour Routine Between Starts
- His Pre-Inning, Pre-Batter, Pre-Pitch Routines
- What he does between innings in the dugout
- How his understanding and commitment to process has evolved over his career
- How he manages the pressure, stress and expectations that come with being a front line starter in the Major Leagues
- What he has learned in his career that he wishes he knew when he was an amateur player in high school and college
- What he loves about golf and how he uses golf as a training ground for his mental game
And much much more...
You can follow Corbin Burnes on Instagram @CorbinBurnes and Brian Cain @BrianCainPeak.
If you want to develop a mental game training program similar to what Corbin Burnes is working with, go to BrianCain.com/baseball for my FREE baseball masterclass to get started.
If you enjoyed this episode of The Brian Cain Mental Performance Podcast, please leave us a review and be sure to visit BrianCain.com/blog for more episodes with top coaches and athletes who are seeing results from their work on the mental game.