Baseball on the Mind

Baseball on the Mind

By Benjamin Gleisser

While Dan Abroms, a mental skills coordinator in the Boston Red Sox organization, helps young sluggers, hurlers and infielders earn a spot on Boston’s roster, he’s also earning his EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership through Creighton University’s online study program.

Abroms plans to have his degree in 2020, just about the same time the minor leaguers he’s working with begin breaking into the major leagues.

Even though he landed his dream job, the choice to continue his education was easy.

“I want to expand my knowledge base and grow as a professional,” says Abroms, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a master’s degree in sports psychology from Ithaca College. “And I like that Creighton provides online learning because, with my job, I can’t be physically in Omaha.”

Abroms, one of four mental skills coaches with the Red Sox, frequently visits two of the franchise’s A-level and the short-season A affiliate minor league teams, where he teaches players mental skills that include motivation, concentration and confidence. His charges are athletes drafted out of high school and college, as well as international players.

“Sometimes, they’ll pull me aside after a game and just want to talk about what’s on their minds,” he says, adding that there is no longer a stigma among professional athletes about seeking his help. “Basically, I teach them to focus on the present moment, and not let internal and external noise get in the way. And when they start seeing improvements in their game, they become more open to the process.”

Before joining the Red Sox in January 2018, Abroms spent eight years teaching resilience and mental skills training to soldiers in the U.S. Army, assisting in their mission readiness.

“I jumped at the opportunity to help our servicemen and servicewomen,” he says. “I have a great deal of gratitude toward our military. They risk their lives for our greater good, and I was grateful to teach them how to focus on the mental aspects of their missions.”