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Roy “Doc” Halladay's success achieved through mental training

This is an excerpt from Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology by Alan Kornspan.

Roy "Doc" Halladay was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995. After having initial success (he almost threw a no-hitter in his second start), he started to perform poorly, and by 2000 he went 4-7 with an ERA of 10.64. Halladay was subsequently sent to the minor leagues. As Halladay received help with his physical mechanics, he eventually returned to the majors. However, upon arriving back to the majors, he still had doubts about his abilities, which he believed affected his performance. Said Halladay, "You always have these thoughts creeping into your head, a picture of how things might not work out. . . . That’s the biggest challenge sometimes is getting rid of those mental pictures and putting positive things in there. If you can get away from that and avoid that, in any part of your life, it makes a huge difference" (Wood, 2005, para. 26).

After Halladay’s return to the majors, he began working with mental training consultant Harvey Dorfman. Dorfman provided Halladay with readings and helped him develop a more positive outlook toward performance. After improving through his physical and mental training, Halladay went on to many successful seasons. In fact, Halladay won the American League’s Cy Young Award in 2003. In discussing the importance of both physical and mental training, Halladay said, "If you’re talking about Mel and Harvey, I honestly don’t think I could’ve gotten it done without either of them" (Wood, 2005, para. 28). Roy Halladay reads Dorfman’s The Mental ABC’s of Pitching seven or eight times a year (Slinger, 2007).