My dad and I always seem to find time to talk about baseball and hitting. I came home from college for the weekend, just to catch up with my parents and my sister.
It was nice to sleep in my own bed and have some home-cooked meals instead of dorm food!
Anyway, just like always, my dad and I started to talk about our thoughts on hitting. One of the things we talked about was how some hitters (including myself) can ocasionally get too comfortable in the box and almost become passive.
There’s a huge difference between passive and staying relaxed, and some players flirt with that fine line. When you become too passive and comfortable in the box, your body is not sprung and ready to hit. This can lead to less success at the plate, poor pitch recognition, and a plethora of other issues.
So obviously the goal is to avoid becoming too passive in the box, but how do we accomplish this goal?
You can think about different mechanical features that may help you, such as starting in a wider position, taking an aggressive stride toward the ball, etc. You can also think about being mentally “aggressive” and ready to crush the baseball instead of “seeing it, then hitting it.”
But why not simplify the whole hitting approach in general?
My dad began to tell me a story this weekend about a coworker he golfed with last month. This coworker is a really good golfer, he was actually on a Division-I college golf team back in the day.
This coworker said that his golf coach would tell the team one thing, and one thing only on the day of the tournament. “Be an athlete!”
This can directly relate to any sport, but baseball in particular! I think we, as players and coaches can get so wrapped up in the swing mechanics and the mental approach that we completely forget to let ourselves or our athletes be just that.. ATHLETES!
You have to be athletic to play a sport at a high level. This includes baseball. Granted, not every MLB player you see is in tremendous shape or has blazing speed, but they all have athletic skills.
So here’s what I want you to think about, especially when hitting: Be an athlete! Sometimes you have to forget about the mechanics. Sometimes you have to forget about everything you’re thinking’ about and just be athletic and HIT!
That’s all for now! Have a great week and remember, BE AN ATHLETE!