Major-League Minds

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Baseball cards always list a player's height and weight, but maybe they oughtto add some stats on confidence and concentration. According to University of Washington psychologist Ronald Smith, Ph.D., a balling arm and his speed around the bases.

Smith, who moonlights for the Houston Astros, measured the psychological abilities of 104 minor-leagues and checked in three years later to see how they were doing. It turned out that such traits as the ability to thrive under pressure predict as much about a hitter's chances for success as his physical skills do. And mind matters are even more crucial for pitchers--they're a better yardstick of a pitcher's future performance than IQ is for a college student's grades.

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