Ask the Coach
Tyler in Tampa, FL asks:
I’m in a hitting slump right now and it’s more mental then my swing. I’m not sure what to do. Before game time I’m loosy goosy and ready to play. But once I hit the field I freeze up and I don’t know why. Any suggestions?
Coach Swift answers:
You are getting to the plate and thinking too much while at bat. Leave most of your thinking in the on-deck circle.
Before you step to the plate, you should be aware of certain game situations. Think about the pitcher and what he threw to you the last time you were up. Situations during the game, like runners on base, often dictate the kind of pitches that you will get. Be aware of these things. But do not doubt yourself. You need to be confident that you will hit the ball.
The best advice I can give you is to decide what you are going to do this time at bat, before you step to the plate. When you’re in the batter’s box, concentrate on the pitcher and the ball, letting your ability make the decision to swing or not.
It all happens so quick that you can’t be thinking at the time of the pitch. All the practice and mental preparation before the pitch have to take over. It’s easily said, but harder to do and that’s what practice is for.
Simply put, be aware of the game situation prior to getting into the box and decide what you want to accomplish. Then once you’re at bat you’ll be free to concentrate on the ball and swing.