Rick Ankiel's Autobiography, The Phenomenon

802 Words 4 Pages
“I loved baseball for a while, then wasn’t so sure, then loved it again” (Ankiel 1). In just one sentence of the Autobiography, The Phenomenon, Rick Ankiel described the many difficulties that came along his route to success. He was budding into one of the best young pitchers to step on the face of the earth, but then came the pressure, the yips, and the pitch that changed his life. Ankiel’s book is an incredible story of how a big leaguer overcame the mental roadblocks in his mind to become a phenomenon on the baseball field. Rick Ankiel had many methods to try and contain the demons that invaded his head. One of the most supportive practices was going to a cement wall that made up the outside of his detached garage. While most people would …show more content…
He seeked out help. Ankiel’s agent found a sports psychologist named Harvey. Just like the wall, Harvey was always available for Rick. Harvey was calm and very patient with Ankiel because he knew that the thing that Ankiel was going through were not easy to overcome. He gave Rick many easy techniques to try to slow down the “demons” that would attack his mind during a game, including counting backwards from 100. Exercises as simple as this helped him to not focus so much on his pitching, and it helped him drastically to become closer to the pitcher that he had the capability of being. A different way that Ankiel seeked out help was through drugs and alcohol. Before games he would drink water bottles full of vodka, and would sometimes do drugs as harmful as ecstasy. “Ecstasy worked for a while. . . This, at twenty-one years old, from a place where drugs weren’t uncommon, where drugs solved the smaller problems in the moments before the bigger ones arose, was my eject button” (Ankiel 157). Ankiel had to find a way to relieve the stress that was being put on him mentally. Drugs and alcohol were a way for him to not be in the right mind to think about all that could go wrong, but instead of all the good things that were going to happen. Rick Ankiel seeking out help shows how challenging his journey to becoming a great pitcher was. The word choice that is portrayed throughout the autobiography really helps the reader to

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