Hitting is MUCH more than just mechanics pt.2 - Decision Making
Your swing may look AMAZING or it may look AKWARD but by no means will it be the primary driver of your success at the plate! Each hitter is different but there are 4 things I believe are CRITICAL to success in the batters box;
TIMING, DECISION MAKING, ADJUSTMENTS & CONFIDENCE.
Today is about Decision Making (pt.2 of 4)
A hitters ability to make great decisions will have a huge impact on consistency at the plate. Just as in life, ones decisions are usually based on how one feels. GENERALLY SPEAKING ----If your having a great day, feeling energetic and happy your more than likely going to make decisions that day that are constructive and conducive to positive outcomes. On the flip-side if your in a terrible mood you may make some decisions you are not proud of ---again this is a very general statement and certainly not always true but is a starting point for this topic.
HOW this relates to hitting is important --- making good decisions at the plate will be a bi-product of how ones feeling. For example if a player is feeling anxious, tentative, maybe even a little scared there ability to make great decisions may be impaired. This can be directly related to what some consider hitting slumps. The more negative pressures one holds on their shoulders at the plate the more likely a bad decision may occur. Bad decisions can lead to a bad swing on a pitch which ups the chance of a poorly hit ball or a strikeout.
With all this said its important a hitter works on their mindset before entering the box. This can be done by getting into what I call the "Funnel of Focus". With my 10u group I try to relate the funnel of focus to the next 4 batters up at any given point in a game. Ill go into details on this method in a future post but for now whats really important here is for the player, coach and parent to understand what a player may be feeling as they approach the box so they could potentially help settle down any negative feelings or anxiousness.
If a hitter can enter the box with a CLEAR, positive focus and intention on what the opportunity holds for them, they will hopefully make better decisions on what balls to swing at or to take. IF THEY MAKE GOOD DECISIONS --- they are putting themselves in a great position to have a GREAT at-bat. Encourage your youth hitters to make great decisions ---they have control over that. Award them if their decision making is good regardless of the outcome of that particular AB, this is a particularly good way to help hitters who are struggling.