Carrying baggage to the plate
It’s been said that hitting a baseball (or in our case a softball) is the toughest thing in all of sports. And it does seem to be true. In other words, all the outcome-focused thoughts. Hitters have to just focus on this pitch, right now, see the ball and hit it hard. Remain focused on their process and not worry about the rest.
You have so little control over what happens, or the outcome, that it can be extremely difficult to be successful on a regular basis. Which is why a hitter who fails 7 out of 10 times is called an all-star. Since it is so difficult on its own, you really don’t want to do anything to make it tougher.
Today I did a little experiment with a few hitters to help them understand what it means to carry extra baggage to the plate – literally. After having them hit off the tee I had them move to a front toss station. But before they got to hit I had them put on their bat bags or back packs – whatever they had with them.
They took a few awkward swings and then I asked them how it felt to hit with their backpacks on their backs. As you might expect, they found it to be rather difficult.
Then we talked about what the backpacks represented. It’s all those things that hitters take with them that they shouldn’t – all those worries that get in the way. Things such as:
Putting on the backpack/bat bag is a great way to demonstrate how carrying extra baggage to the plate can get in the way of good hitting. If you have a hitter who is struggling, give it a try. It just might help them clear their heads.
That’s my thought. What have you done to help hitters regain their focus?
In other words, all the outcome-focused thoughts. Hitters have to just focus on this pitch, right now, see the ball and hit it hard. Remain focused on their process and not worry about the rest.