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How to let go and hit the ball with natural ability

It’s just the law of nature. The harder we try the less we succeed. The tighter we grip the bat the slower our bat speed. The harder we swing, the less bat control we have.

The Art of Hitting will always be effected by the ebb and flow of what we do. With every action there is an equally opposite reaction.

The more we think about “not” striking out or hitting into a double play, the more we seem to do it right?

So how do we overcome this? How can we learn to hit the baseball with pure concentration?

A few days ago I told you about my failure to get a base-hit after 2 hours of batting practice, and then followed up the next day going 2-2 after without even picking up a bat before the first inning.

Let me share with you a VERY important principle about begin a GREAT hitter and it has a lot to do with trust, relaxing, remembering to have fun, and just playing the game. I also wan’t to talk to you about practice and how it can be over-rated.

Yes I know I said it! OVER-RATED!

Practice doesn’t guarantee success!

When we practice there has to be a reason. Not because your coach says so or even because you think that sending time in the cage is the only way to get better! It’s not.

When we practice, we have to come to a point were we know exactly why we are here. If it’s not to get better then what is it?
It’s to be present. To be in the moment and 100% completely aware of the task at hand. What this kind of awareness does is allow are ability to focus and concentrate to arrive when it’s needed most.

This is the same level of concentration that you need when you step into the box.

You have to forget and just do!

So this is what happened to me. I gave up trying and just “did”. I forgot about results. I forgot about my sense of urgency. There is no sense of time when you’re completely in the moment.

The moment I didn’t care about being successful was the moment I was able to really allow my natural talents and ability to shine through.

Hitting is about performing within the “space between your thoughts”. There is no room for thinking. No one to impress.  Nothing to accomplish.

Similar to a song….there is no music without the silent space in between. There is no true concentration within the batter’s box without silence in your mind.

Just be.

Try it for yourself

Have you been struggling with thinking to much. Do you feel like no matter how hard you practice, you just can’t seem to get a hit?

Do you wan’t to become a better hitter? Well it’s absolutely possible to do that without even picking up a bat.

You can begin by reminding yourself why you ever picked up a bat in the first place. Answer that question, quite your mind……and you’ll have your solution to every single hitting obstacle you’ll ever face!

Share your thoughts below and tell me what has been your BIGGEST hitting obstacle as of late!

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What’s Your Mission? What’s your Baseball Dream? Will you join me?

 

The question I get a lot is “why did you create Art of Baseball?” The answer is pretty simple and not as DRAMTIC as you may have thought……

The way baseball information, about correct technique, is shared and communicated has changed dramatically in the past few years. A lot of baseball parents, coaches, and players use the internet to get the baseball information they’re looking for. The problem is, there is a lot of information out there! Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Which information is going to help you get the results you’re looking for?! Tough questions I know!

This is how my mission was born!

My mission was to create a resource of information that I have adopted and more importantly tested so that I can help anyone who is looking to:

  • get an edge over their competition, teammates and attempt to stay ahead of the pack
  • make sure that they are getting the most out of their potential
  • truly understand what correct mechanics are in the most simple and easy to apply principles
  • finally become a true competitor who is looked at as a type of player that knows how to win and play with TRUE confidence

This is my mission and I look forward to sharing that mission with you whoever you are. Together we can be responsible for a generation of players who play the game the game the right way with the right mind set and for the right reasons.

Will you join my mission?

I want to hear your story!

Tell me what your baseball mission is and share with us your ultimate baseball goal in the comments below!

Sometimes all it takes is one thing you hear from someone that changes everything for the better for you.

Share Below!

 

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The perfect hitting practice tool

 

I figured you have asked yourself this question before.

“how can I make sure that I’m getting the most out of my hitting lessons, and equip the best approach to make sure my swing is sound and generates as much power as possible”.

Ok…..maybe not quite in those words but I bet you are now.

Well in today’s post I want to show you a tool that you have already probably used and tell you why it’s important even though you probably already know why.

Why? Because even though I knew its value I took that value for granted!

Don’t let this happen to you!

Video camera segmenting

 

We all have heard about using video to analyze a swing. But what are we looking for? We’re not recording our swing to make sure our stroke is not so ugly that it could make a blind man grimace.

We’re looking for specific check points in the swing, for little mechanical flaws that could be elongating our swing, or even showing what our greatest strengths are so we can become more aware of them and then leverage that.

Video can be an incredible weapon when you know what you’re looking for.

So where do we start?!

Start my finding a camera that either has a consistent start stop function. You need to be able to view your swing frame by frame or in extreme slow motion. We all have cell phones with cameras but I’m not sure if most of these have an effective start stop function. So in order to do this you would have to upload your swings onto a computer.

This is why I believe using an actual camera is a bit more effective.

The start stop function is key in finding precisely what you need to work on during a hitting session.

Where can you get one for cheap?

One word……..three syllables.

Amazon!

Amazon normally has great deals on cameras with a great return policy.

eBay is ok, and Craigslist is pretty much hit or miss.

If you’re lucky you could find a decent camera for less than $15!

Not bad!

So what do you do once you have a camera.

Take some video!

Find one thing that you could consider a flaw in your swing. In the beginning you may need to be ruthless with yourself. If it’s a perceived flaw, take the time to see what “harm” it could be doing to your swing.

Secondly, find one strength that you have in your swing. What this will do is allow you to make sure you continue doing this after you have made adjustments with anything else that needs polishing in your swing.

Be your own coach!

Using a camera and watching footage of your swing is a great way of becoming an EXPERT on your swing. The more familiar you are with your swing the better off you’ll be in the future and watching video helps you with establishing that kind of perspective!

Good luck!

 

 

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How to have intense focus for each pitch and at-bat

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.

Breathe deep

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.

Get specific

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.)

That’s it!!!!

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!

Do work!!!