Re: the mental approach
> We have a kid on our high school team who, in practice looks like a world beater. Great swing, strong, athletic, fast kid. Problem is, his stats don't show it. He seems to make poor decisions at the plate. Takes a lot of pitches for strikes that look like he should be crushing them. Seems to have trouble finding the sweet spot in games and fouls too many off (again, balls that look like he should be pounding). I think he's putting too much pressure on himself and trying to live up to everyone's expectations. Trying to be "perfect" and over thinking the situation. He's a good kid and would be open to contructive criticism. I also think he is getting too many different opinions from team mates, coaches, friends, etc. My question is, how to handle a kid like this. I think if would relax and have more fun, he'd take pressure off and be able to really open up. But how to convince him? Any thoughts?
I have experienced something like this in the past. Without seeing him, it is hard to say what is really going on. One thing that has helped is to make batting practice more 'game like' by keeping the count, number of outs, etc... during batting practice. Talk to him about the count and proper thought process before each pitch. Also, keep his hitting percentage for each batting practice session. This forces him to engage mentally with the count, the situation and the additional pressure. I often times have formed the impression that certain batters are better than they really are until I force the count and batting percentage. At that point I start to see the 'real' hitter. Good luck
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