WHEN AND WHY HITTERS NEED ROUTINES
All great hitters have a routine-multiple routines. Some are simple, some are quirky, but all are intentional. Most great hitters have routines for all phases of their game.
Routine- a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.
Why should you have routines?
Routines make your brain and your body feel comfortable in a certain situation. If you can consistently put your MIND in a familiar state, your BODY will respond in a more consistent manner.
And as we all know, consistency is what we are all striving for.
I strongly recommend having routines for each of these:
Pre-game batting practice
On-deck, before each at bat
In-between each pitch
Batting practice is where players get better. You should have as much focus in batting practice as you do during the game. Being consistent in your routines during batting practice creates a higher quality of practice.
You are about to go war. Focus is key. On-deck routines help you dial in mentally to the task you are about to undertake.
I batted lead-off my senior year in college. Right before the first pitch of the game, I would jump as high as I could bringing my knees to my chest. I did it to clear my head. From that point on I knew I put everything in my life to the side and fully focused on dominating my opponent. I'm not going to lie, I had another small motive. I wanted to show the other team my athleticism.
“Do yall see this? Are you watching how ridiculously high I'm jumping? I can run even faster. You better be ready. I'm coming for you!"
It seems goofy, I know. But it worked for me.
IN BETWEEN EACH PITCH
Routines in-between each pitch will help you concentrate on one pitch at a time. Each pitch is a small, individial battle. Every readjustment is a physical representation of the separation of each pitch or each small battle. After each pitch-reset and dig in again.
Nomar Garciappara, former shortstop of the Boston Red Sox, had a routine that I LOVED. He would adjust the straps on his batting gloves two times, each hand, between EVERY pitch. It was odd, but it was his routine. It made him comfortable at the plate.
Routines breed confidence, comfort, and consistency. If you don't have routines, you're not putting yourself in the best position to succeed.
Have your players come up with routines they like. Have them do it between each pitch of batting practice for onc e a week. After a successful at bat during a game, ask your player if he remembers anything that he physically did on deck or in between pitches. Have him repeat those things the next at bat so his mind associates that physical action with confidence.
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