Boom! You hit a blazing inside fastball with two strikes to bring in in the tieing run!
Bam!! You hit that nasty curve ball that none of your teammates have been able to hit all game!
You’re locked in……..in the zone.
You’re crushing pitches and you’re not even trying.
How did you do it?
I’ll tell you.
Your mind was empty
Before the pitch was thrown, your mind was perfectly still like the surface of a pond reflecting the moon- and because of this you were able to apply what you have learned in batting practice and finally use your baseball instincts.
The problem is, we forget to do this. We forget to stop thinking when hitting. We forget to focus on our breathing and rely on our instincts.
Succesfull hitting isn’t about trying harder…….it’s about remembering how to let your natural talent come through.
Did you forget??
Here is how to remember.
You can’t be an effective hitter without learning how to breathe effectively- meaning utilizing your belly to breathe. When we are tense we tend to breathe up in our chest which causes our muscles around our eyes and upper body to contract and this greatly restricts our reaction time and ability to pick up the ball effectively out of the pitchers hand.
Breathe with the belly and you’ll see a quick increase in your ability to focus immediately.
Use hard focus soft focus
On the other hand you can’t have a high level of focus for too long. For most of us, we can only focus on one thing effectively for 4-5 seconds before we become aware of external distractions (sights, sounds, etc).
So what do we do?
We give or focus muscles a break by transitiong from soft to hard focus.
What I did was just before stepping in the box I would either look up at the sky, stare at a spot on my bat, or look at a spec of dirt for about 2-3 seconds to clear my head. Sometimes I would just look around, clear my head and prepare for the next pitch.
What this does is essentially allow my focus muscles to recover from the previous hard focus.
Once we have made the transition from soft to hard focus we need to get specific!
When it’s time to get the job done we need to have a specific focus to make sure our concentration level is razor sharp.
While at the plate, here are a few things to “be specific” on when trying to increase concentration.
- The pitcher’s hand
- The pitchers arm angle
- The zone or plane of the pitch
- And my favorite, The actual spot on the pitch that you will be hitting. ( my focus was to attack the inner half of the pitch.)
Hitting a baseball can actually be simple when you have specific yet effective focus!
There is no reason why you can’t apply this and start seeing results in the way you hit the ball as well as the overall quality of your at-bats.
What’s your hard focus going to be? Tell us in the comment box below!