The Mental Game Of Baseball - Making The Decision To Hit
What does the Green Beret, an elite trained branch of the
United States Special Forces, and members of the World Register
of Intellectual Elite, the greatest scientists on earth, have
in common? They both strongly proclaim the "mind" is the most
powerful tool on earth.
I'm rather lazy and since the smartest and toughest men in
the world agree the mind is the ultimate weapon, I see no
need to try and reinvent the wheel. So let's take a look at
how the most powerful weapon in the world, can be used to
help us improve our skills on how to hit a baseball.
The initial issue to address is our belief we can accomplish
the task of hitting, our self confidence if you will. This
begins with visualization, the ability for the mind to see
the actual physical accomplishment of hitting the ball. This
may at one time been considered hocus pocus, but it has been
scientifically proven visualization of a particular task solidifies
two distinct issues....
1. It convinces the mind, body and subconscious that it is
totally capable of achieving the desired goal.
2. It initiates muscle memory, which is required to walk the
mind and muscle through the sequence of tasks which will result
Bottom line is we train ourselves to have self-confidence
in our talents.
Another, and possibly the second most important mental issue,
is approaching the task of hitting as an "Offensive Attack,"
meaning we have full intention of swinging at every pitch.
We know of course, that will not be the case, as a hundred
other factors enter into the equation of to swing or not to
swing, but it's essential to never go to the batters box hoping
for a walk.
There's a coaching philosophy, which I whole heartily agree
with, which states "It's easier to stop a swing, than
start one." We all have seen major league baseball
players attempt to stop their swing, a check swing, where
the base umpire calls him out as a swinging strike. This vision,
which will be caught on television at least once every game,
would tend to render my philosophy as incorrect or at least
However, how many times a game do you see a batter punched
out on a called third strike? There will be the argument the
hitter was fooled, or he was looking for a fastball and got
a curveball, but the fact remains when you have a 2 strike
count, you become a defensive hitter ready to swing at any
pitch which may be considered a strike. The hitter wasn't
ready to swing, or else he would have, even if it resulted
in a feeble attempt.
It's probably impossible to accurately classify how many "called"
3 strikes occur during a game by not being prepared to swing,
but giving way to a 50-50 split, there are far more strike
outs from not swinging than attempting a check swing.
Visualize you successfully swinging and making solid contact
with the ball, then go to the batters box with the intention
of swinging at every pitch. Obviously there is much more involved
in the mental game of hitting, but this will give you 2 basic
starting blocks on which to build.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who
since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball
to youth, shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball
drills on his exciting info packed website: http://www.learn-youth-baseball-coaching.com
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