Chicago Cubs

In baseball, mental coaches were once seen as for the 'weak-minded.' Now they're essential.

In baseball, mental coaches were once seen as for the 'weak-minded.' Now they're essential.

About three hours before every game, nearly without fail, Washington Nationals first baseman Matt Adams would look up from a conversation with a teammate, or from organizing his locker, or from indulging a reporter, and realize it was time.

"Time to go get right," he would say, and the big, burly, tattooed man would lumber out of the room and into the dugout, where Mark Campbell, the team's director of mental conditioning, awaited him. Then came a chat on the top of the bench, or a slow walk around the warning track, a private conversation as important to Adams's day as the ones he had with hitting coach Kevin Long or working in the unfamiliar outfield with coach Bobby...

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