What’s Your Hitting Mentality?
Do you feel “lost’ at the plate?
Have you had that feeling like there is nothing you can do to get a hit no matter what you try?
Does self-doubt overtake you when you step in the batter’s box?
Sometimes, a string of bad at-bats can overwhelm a hitter.
You may even start thinking that you are in a “slump” and feeling that you can’t hit anything.
The fact is that you can’t hit every pitch.
The only way a string of bad at-bats turns into a slump is if you buy into the “slump” mentality.
Bryce Harper, 21, is the youngest player in the MBL, despite being in his third season in the big leagues. Harper hit .143 through the first five games for the Washington Nationals.
Harper even showed signs of frustration slamming down his helmet and throwing his bat at a few bad at-bats. Harper started to think he was in a “slump.”
Harper said he received some good advice from his father who coached when he was young:
“’Man, you need to stop thinking so much. Just go out and hit the baseball. Plain and simple… It’s sometimes where you start slow and that’s just part of the game and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just have fun, smile, laugh, just be as happy as you can all the time and good things will happen.”
Harper took heed to his father’s advice and it paid off with an eight-game hitting streak and a jump in his batting average to .340.
Harper started to trust his abilities, stopped over-thinking when in the batter’s box and knew the hits would eventually come if he focused on the process…
“You want to do so much and you’re just six games in and it’s like, ‘Why? Just try to relax. You have a 150 more games left, so just trying to relax as much as you can. If you’re 0 for 4 or 4 for 4, you gotta come back the next day and play.”
How about looking at your hitting from a different perspective.
If your batting average is .300, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed 3 hits every time you have ten at-bats.
For instance, over the course of nine games, you may bat 2-4, 1-3, 2-3, 1-4, 2-3, 1-3, 0-4, 0-3 and 0-4.
You feel start thinking you are slumping because you were hit less in the last three games. But, in reality, you hit 9 for 30 or .300 over the course of those nine games.
You don’t want to over think the process.
Over-thinking disrupts you from calming your mind.
It can cause mental mistakes (late swings, chasing bad pitches) in the batter’s box.
Maybe you had swung at some bad pitches… so what?
Learn from the at-bat, have a calm mind, trust your swing, and move forward.
Adopt a hitter’s mentality:
Take charge of your mental game. Focus on quality at-bats instead of your hitting average. This can help you focus on the process.
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Mental Game of Baseball Success Stories
“With your help, I have been able to deal with stress and pressure of the game of baseball more efficiently. I have learned what it means to focus on the process to help me keep my focus and disregard negative thoughts and energies. This process focus will keep me from getting my head in the way of my performance, from working against myself. Thanks for your help. I look forward to speaking with you again.”
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This was really helpful. I play high school baseball, and have a very high amount of talent. However, my mindset holds me back very often. I get through this by constantly running quotes through my head. I know it may sound crazy, but what works for me, works for me. I need to simply slow everything down and just focus on hitting the ball. To stay calm, I now just think about hitting the ball with solid contact.