Building Baseball Hitting Confidence
Why players with average swings outhit players with better than average swings usually comes down to baseball hitting confidence. Having a good mental approach can overcome little hitting flaws, at least up to a certain level of play, so it is important that players have confidence no matter the current state of their hitting mechanics. That is a hitting coach’s main objective – building that hitting confidence, especially with players, who have so-so swings or those, who generally lack confidence.
I often tell my hitting students many things in that regard. One, hitting mechanics are always a work in progress and they come and go, even for the best of hitters. Some days the swing is there and other days it feels off somewhat. In either case, successful hitting requires other things too, that give players hope, when their swing mechanics are off. Two, that swinging at good pitches to hit, those in the middle of the plate from thigh high to a few inches below the letters, gives players a great chance of success as much as having the perfect swing. These confident boosting points help players understand that perfect baseball swings do not exist and that getting a good pitch to hit is paramount to successful batting. In other words, the mental approach is almost as important as the physical one.
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Baseball Hitting Confidence Tips
Because hitters will fail more than they succeed, especially at the higher levels of baseball, hitting coaches must keep player confidence as high as possible. Good hitting coaches build baseball hitting confidence by addressing both the physical and mental game of hitting. Following are constant teachings I try to build into my hitting students to build that confidence, no matter the state of their swing mechanics.
Coaches should teach:
- A Positive Belief that Practice Pays Off – I am constantly telling batters that I know, and they must believe, that work turns into hits, and often at unexpected times, as with facing a dominant pitcher.
- Trust in swing – most players lack the experience to be able to adjust hitting mechanics from one at-bat to the next, let alone from pitch to pitch, as even the pros have trouble doing that, but they must believe their current swing is good enough to get the job done.
- Ways to recognize pitcher’s tendencies – any little clues they pick up about the pitcher can give that little extra edge to come through.
- A relaxed body with an aggressive mind – physical tension is a detriment to hitting success, but mental tension is good to have the necessary adrenaline for awareness and reaction.
- A good grasp of strike zone – a constant work in progress for young hitters but a major key to hitting development.
- A knowledge of own strengths – understanding which pitches a player hits best sets up their early in the count game plan.
- 100% focus on ball spin, trajectory, and movement – all of the previous confident thoughts allow players to clear the mind, slow the action down, and get in the zone with the great focus necessary to hit balls squarely.
- Confidence to wait until last second to decide to swing – this ability is dependent on swing mechanics of course, but nowhere is confidence more important than being able to wait for pitches before swinging or not swinging.
- Heightened awareness with two strikes – good hitters increase their focus slightly more with two strikes, realizing more is at stake with the two-strike count.
- All of the above lead to the necessary explosive transfer of physical and mental energy into balanced actions.
Over time, with some success and good coaching, players learn to have many of these baseball hitting confidence necessities.