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'Amped up' psychological pow wows with Perry proving beneficial for Vincent


SPRINGFIELD — Wyatt Vincent has taken advantage as much as any of the Eagles or Lady Eagles past or present of Nixa having a certified mental performance coach on its payroll.

Eagles football coach John Perry’s words of wisdom, which can be heard on his "Never Stop Getting Better” podcast, are stretching from the gridiron to the ball diamond. He is having a more profound impact on Vincent’s mindset than ever before.

After delivering an RBI-single to break a fifth-inning, 2-all in Nixa’s 4-2 Class 6 District 6 win against Carthage on Wednesday, Vincent credited Perry for helping him deliver in the clutch.

Earlier in the game, Vincent popped up with the bases loaded. Not deterred, he carried a positive point of view into his next at-bat.

“I shouldn't do that on a 2-0 count,” Vincent said of his flyout. “But I didn't really let it get to me. I was kind of like, 'I've done that before. What am I going to do in my next at-bat?’ You can't dwell on (a negative). I put the past behind me and I was ready for the next at-bat, which allowed me to succeed.  

"Working with coach Perry about the mental aspect (of sports), I’ve learned you can figure out what you did wrong after a game,” he added. “I can't sit in the moment too long. I can make adjustments during the game. That's what is helping me."

Vincent considered Perry a confidant even before he debuted on the varsity level as Nixa’s starting center fielder his freshman season two years ago.

“Whenever he moved here, I was in the eighth grade and that's when he started talking to me,” Vincent said. “This year, we've amped it up. I meet with him once a week. We usually spend 45 minutes to an hour talking. It's really good, quality time and has been beneficial for me.”

Coach Logan Hughes wasn’t pleased to see Vincent not run out a flyout at Ozark earlier this season and let him know about it. Conversely, Hughes has since been proud of Vincent’s increased maturity and positive frame of mind.

"He's done an incredible job the second half of the season of staying in the moment and learning from his at-bats,” Hughes said. “He’s done a better job of just having fun and playing the game, not putting so much pressure on results and letting all that take care of itself.”