the mental game
Posted by: rql (
) on Tue Oct 14 18:36:36 2008
This is a vast subject,it may be written in segments and the understanding of yourself as a hitter from the other training topics will decide much of how you make your mental plan.I cannot stress enough the value of getting a good pitch to hit[a good pitch for you].It is easy to say dont swing at bad pitches but the big dollar question is how do you go about it.I think in many hitters psyche it is see the ball hit the ball.This translates to the body going to the ball and swinging where the ball is going,this in turn has you chasing pitches you dont want to but you commit early trying to make all these adjustments,you just react to where the ball is going and bad pitches ruin the avg.If instead we decide that our plan has at most a couple locations that we are going to attack then we think about our contact points for those and mental image in the box the contact point we must hit 1st,now we know where we plan to hit a pitch like it is on a tee and as you load and see the pitch you let the ball come to your contact point,if it is not coming there you let it go,so you decide to swing to your point and abort when it goes elsewhere and it helps you not go to the ball,it must come to your spot.
For years my mental thought at times when I was struggling with high pitches was dont go up which I later found just made it worse because the mind tries to do what was last in it and right before the pitch the last words were dont [go up],I later changed to [belly down] as my thought and this fared better for me ending on a positive note and the words directed at what I want to do ,not what I dont want to do.
Mental imaging is how most great athletes see themselves suceeding before they do it.What I mean is you see yourself getting the rhythm with the pitcher,see the release,see the ball coming to your contact point and see the decision to swing.Wade Boggs would tell me on the way driving to the ball park he would picture the guy he was facing that night and what he recalled of the picther in an image throwing to him.
I think situational hitting is an area a coach can make a difference in his club,by incorporating sit. hitting into each batting practice.
Man on 1st only,leftys need to know if they can pull the ball and how best to do it.There is a large 3-4 hole so up til 2 strikes ask yourself can I hit the ball hard for a line drive or grounder in the hole,It added 30 points to my avg my senior year of college.You have to not go up to hit a ball because you need to stay on top of it for liners [good time to think belly down].Rightys in this sit may be called to hit and run,so they need to get off the plate and think of hitting the inside of the ball[think extreme here].
Runner on 2nd no outs: naturally we want to move him over but again think get the barrel out front for leftys and stay on top of the ball,opp. for rightys but stay on top of it.In this situation hitters are impatient and rush to swing at anything and get jammed because the pitcher is trying to throw inside so learn to see your contact point and a pitch that will come to it.
Man on 3rd less that 2 outs:2 ways here,If the infield is back then generally it is considered easier to hit a grounder to middle infield than a deep flyball.Here we dont want to get jammed and pull it to 3rd or 1st that may play closer.So get a ball out over the plate stay on top of it and hit a hard grounder to middle of park.If the infield is in they can cut off alot of grounders if not hit really hard so now we want a ball more up generally or at least think about lifting it with a good cut to drive it deep,even if fooled swing hard.
teach hitters to be barrel aware in situations where the barrel needs to be in relation to the hands to do what you want,and hit inside the ball or outside.
Please understand so far this sit. hitting is placement type hitting and not what I call really taking your good rip but the key is to hit it somewhere in particular that should be easier than just driving hits.
One last note for now,more advanced I guess,if you are able to look curve and hit it,thats great but if they throw you a fb dont look like your a deer in the head lights and if you know where the curve has to start up to break for a strike and they throw one that breaks down and in the dirt,try not to look like you read it all the way and you were not fooled because a good catcher or pitching coach will realize why your not fooled ,its because your looking curve and then they will throw you fb and your dead,so dont give away your plan,More later carpal tunnel kicking in here
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