As many of you know I love teaching hitting mechanics and the mental game of
baseball. This year during my instruction I’ve
paid particular attention to integrating the two together as much as I can. However, I wanted to share with you a challenge that has
come up while working with various teams and athletes. The best way to explain is in a Q & A
format. But first, a couple
Instruction: Working on correcting specific body movements
to create a consistent, powerful, and balanced swing.
Instruction: Working on concentration, confidence,
and relaxation while performing the highly technical skill of hitting a baseball.
The Question: How can an athlete correct his swing
mechanics by feeling what is right vs. thinking about his mechanics while he
is trying to stay relaxed and focused?
Early on in my coaching career I worked a lot on the correct mechanics of hitting;
with little focus on the mental side of the process. What happened was I produced highly technical
hitters with little ability to fully and completely relax and focus during any given
game. The problem was that when they
popped out or struck out they would immediately begin to try and figure out what had broken down
and failed mechanically so they could fix it next time up to bat. This led to guys over-thinking the problem as
they stepped into the box. The
problem was that they were too busy and focused on what movements had to be correct that they
forgot to relax and let their muscles move in the way they had been trained to move.
massive increase of personalized and professional hitting instruction in the past ten years,
more and more athletes are falling into this trap I just explained. While I thinking understanding your hitting
mechanics is extremely important, you must learn to forget those mechanics when it's time
to perform. There lies the
problem. The challenge of creating
highly technical and precise hitters who can relax and let their bodies do the work with their
minds shut off from analyzing each swing.
So how do I
coach athletes to become a steward of their hitting mechanics as well as keeping thoughts of
their mechanics out of their head when it’s game time?
itself is simple, but to get athletes to really engage and practice the concept is a bit more
difficult. To understand how I
explain this to athletes, you can watch the following video I made on the