Developing a Simple Baseball Playing Mentality
Developing a simple but effective baseball playing mentality in their players is one responsibility of baseball coaches. At the higher levels of baseball, there is a coach for every aspect of the game to help players with a good baseball playing mentality. However, at the youth baseball level, parents and coaches must help kids with that development in hitting, pitching and fielding.
Often, coaches give players so many baseball playing tips that they become overwhelmed in thought. “Paralysis by analysis” is the result, when ball players become so engaged in thought that the desired, instinctive action rarely occurs. On the other hand, some players’ minds wander because they have no thought process, staying unprepared for action. In either case, helping players keep the game simple, with a regular consistent pre pitch thought process, is the goal of the baseball coach.
It is best to give players one and only one “go to” thought process. Following are some basic baseball playing tips that help players have a simple plan of action that develops an effective baseball playing mentality.
An Effective Baseball Playing Mentality
Hitting – look for and expect “your” pitch early in the count, and think back through the middle with two strikes. This thought process keeps players in the here and now and not on hitting mechanical thoughts, with a specific and simple game plan.
Pitching – Always throw the pitch you believe is the right one, as opposed to trying to out think the batter. Putting too much emphasis on the batter’s weakness leads pitchers to aiming balls and away from their own strengths.
Fielding – Expect the ball to come your way on every pitch, knowing what options are available when it does, depending on the game situation.
Throwing – Focus intently on the target after catching balls and throw at close to full speed on all throws. Most throwing errors occur from lack of focus or with aiming the ball to the target.
Base Running – Know the location of the ball and the number of outs at all times.
Developing a simple, effective baseball playing mentality helps players avoid hesitation and inconsistency from pitch to pitch and while action occurs. Inundating players with many game possibilities clutters their mind into inaction or hesitancy.