Dec 14, 2011 2:23 PM
It has often been said that hitting a round ball with a round bat is, perhaps, the single hardest thing to do well in sports. In addition to that challenge a hitter in fastpitch softball has all of about 1/3 of a second to determine ball velocity, movement and location; no problem! Is it any wonder then that even the very best fastpitch hitters fail 60% or more of the time?
Being a travel softball coach I understand the mechanical part of hitting as well as most, but it is the element between the ears that determines a player's success or failure in the batter's box. So here are 5 simple steps your athlete can take to improve her batting average and her joy for playing the game:
1. Focus - Most hitters cannot focus their energy on the task at hand because they are either over analyzing things, consumed by past failures, or have a bout with ADD. Being able to exert laser focus for each pitch is paramount to her success. Just a 50% increase in her mental focus will greatly increase her success. Once your athlete can recognize her focus level it will be easier for her to flip the focus switch on whenever she needs to.
2. Relax - Players today are so burdened with excessive expectations that each at bat can feel as if their whole future depends on it's outcome! These expectations can lead to excessive anxiety and adrenalin which in turn diminishes performance due to physiological responses like reduced motor reflexes, reduced vision, reduced focus, sweaty palms, increased pulse rate, etc. If your athlete can practice some simple breathing techniques and positive "can do" trigger statements in the on deck circle she can keep herself relaxed and focused.
3. Have a Plan - For your athlete to improve her batting success she needs to take a "proactive" stance and adequately prepare herself for each at bat. This can include studying the pitcher, knowing the umpire's strike zone, looking for a certain pitch or location, knowing the game situation. Having a plan can also include well rehearsed "pre-game," "in-game," and "post game" plans to prepare mentally for the inevitable adversity the game will throw at her.
Boost your athlete's game day confidence fast with the Sports Confidence Blueprint program!
For more mental performance info and tips visit me at: John Michael Kelly Sports.