World Series champ Cody Bellinger on ‘little mental gimmicks’ that help him mentally prepare for a game

Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game Six to win the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas.
Ronald Martinez | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Cody Bellinger is used to the highs and lows of being a professional athlete.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' first baseman and outfielder ended last season on a high note: At 25, he won his first World Series championship against the Tampa Bay Rays.

But just a few weeks later, Bellinger had to have shoulder surgery. (He infamously injured his shoulder while smashing forearms with a teammate as they celebrated his home run during game 7 of the National League Championship Series.)

"I had extra downtime this offseason with my shoulder injury so I had a lot of thinking time and that's always a good thing," Bellinger tells CNBC Make It.

In fact, to mentally prepare for a new baseball season, which kicks off Thursday, Bellinger uses a few of his own "little mental gimmicks."

"It's is such a mental [and] exhausting game. You really do need to be in a good headspace to compete every single day," Bellingers says during an interview promoting Flonase, an over-the-counter allergy medicine he uses during the season.

While Bellinger says he doesn't "necessarily meditate," he does listen to meditative music on his way to the field.

"It kind of gives me the sense of relaxation," he says. "I just feel good and my head feels good and my body feels good."

Bellinger says he also listens to "zenful" music as opposed to hip hop, rap or country music while working out too.

"It just gives me a different state of mind," he says.

Another mental trick Bellinger uses, especially when things aren't going well for him during a game, is relying on his understanding that "failure is going to happen."

It's "just an understanding that I've been here before and I've struck out multiple times before, and not necessarily getting mad at the fact anymore," he says.

Bellinger says he's learned what's more important is how you come out of the failure every single day.

"I try to control my emotions and do the best that I can. I'm going to try to do that this year."

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