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?
Hitting is a zero sum endeavor. You reap what you sow. Proper practice using proper technique will produce desired results. Sometimes excesive training is required. But that is a relative thing and will vary from individual to individual.
False confidence is soon shattered. Confidence based in ones knowing that they will succeed is what produces desired performance in any situation.
Poor performance in a game situation requires more repitition in the practice environment. No matter how many reps or how much time is required, a dedicated player in combination w/ a dedicated instructor, will overcome the "lack of confidence" performance monkey. Once a youngster has proven to himself that he has the mental, intelectual, emotional & physical ability to perform, HE WIIL. This may require, not only inordinate reps & instruction, but a breakdown and a rebuilding of the desired skill. At the individuals breakthrough point, they will KNOW that they have done this thing a million times with success. Another at bat (in this case)is just another opportunity to do it again.
In regard to hitting, I would recommend Jack's videos in addition to taping and slow motion playback and analysis. Desire & dedication will prevail.
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