Does your swing match your thinking?
There is a runner on third base with less than two outs. The infield is back. All your slap hitter needs to do is to put the ball in play on the ground and you get a run. What does he do? He drops his back
shoulder, loops way under the ball, and pops it up to the shortstop. The batter is angry and you get another couple gray hairs. After the game, when asked about the at-bat, the batter says he was trying to put the ball on the ground but just didn’t get it done.
This is a classic case of a batter’s mind not being in sinc with his swing.
Even though many young hitters do in fact have somewhat of a gameplan when they step into the box (admittedly, not as many as we would like), many forget to adjust their swings accordingly. The mental process of knowing the situation during the game is certainly important but even more important is knowing what adjustments need to be made in order to succeed in that situation.
All this is not just for hitters. This lack of connection between the mind and body is seen in all players at all levels and at every position.
As coaches, not only do we have to teach players how to think during game-time situations but we also have to spend an equal amount of time telling our players exactly what physical adjustments are needed to go along with that thinking. It’s not easy but it is something we must find time for during training and practice time.
Tomorrow’s post: Don’t turn your back