How to Create Consistent Hitting Mechanics
I’m sure you know from experience that hitting a baseball consistently for any length of time is one of the most difficult and frustrating things to do in sports. There are two areas of your general preparation for baseball that you will need to develop regularly if you want the most consistency possible as a competitive athlete: the mental game of baseball and proper hitting mechanics. If you’re interested in learning more about the psychology of baseball, there are quite a few resources online, as well as on my blog. This article is reserved to teach a little about the subject of hitting mechanics.
I get to work with dozens and dozens of individual athletes each year. It’s truly a rewarding experience most of the time, although it can be extremely frustrating at times to see such talented athletes not put in the work necessary to achieve some consistency in their swing. I have never had a hard time making athletes work hard when I work with them in the cage. It’s when athletes have to motivate themselves to work outside of their practice days that their work habit breaks.
In order to become a highly consistent and effective hitter, I prescribe the following “medical procedure” to be used outside of practice:
1. Dry exercises: These are exercises related to striking mechanics that are intended to reinforce muscle memory. It is impossible to dedicate only two or three days to a specific hitting technique and make it stick for the long term. The problem you will run into is that during a game your focus will be on the pitcher and not on your mechanics. If you haven’t put in the time to develop quality muscle memory, you’ll be back to the problems you were initially trying to fix.
2. Brain rehearsal: The mind is a powerful tool for good or evil. When you use your mind for positive images or visualizations, your effectiveness as a hitter will increase. If your mind pollutes your body with thoughts of failure, your body will respond negatively. Lack of confidence and fear can destroy a good hitter. To make sure you’re conditioning your brain the right way, it’s very important that you play mental videos of yourself succeeding on offense. This is easy to do, many of you do it all day long in other areas. Sometimes your mind wanders at church or school and you lose focus on what’s going on around you. If you can transition into this mode and daydream about your performances, you can truly become a master of the mental game of baseball.