Monday, August 18, 2014

Hitting Approach is a Skill

No doubt we live in a Sports Center-watching , highlight-infested, media-driven baseball world.

We love talent. It's impressive. Miguel Cabrera's bat control, Mike Stanton's strength, Billy Hamilton's speed.

We are obsessed with anyone who breaks records, particularly in speed, i.e. Aroldis Chapman, Usain Bolt, Rickey Henderson. And who am I to scoff at them!

All of those athletes are phenomenal, impressive, exciting, blah blah blah.

Rarely do we give these athletes the credit they deserve for their skill, or their preparation of that skill. Talent does an athlete no good if he doesn't have the discipline to work on his skill.

Baseball is a SKILL game. The big leagues are full of talented players, but the most talented players are those who work on their barrel manipulation, bunting, catch play, hand-eye coordination, ability to change direction quickly and ability to hit a breaking ball.

The minor leagues are full of uber-talented players who look, throw, run, swing and spit like Hall of Famers. And a high percentage of them will end up being released without even a cup-of-coffee.

Having an approach at the plate is a skill. It requires self-trust, confidence and calculated thought. Hitters that practice their swings over and over again may possess a skilled swing, but are missing the bridge between average and great.

Practicing approach, confidence and mental toughness can all start in tee work, front toss and BP.

Hitters that practice choosing confidence and aggressiveness, despite recent or accrued failures, have sharpened their most important skill.

No comments

Post a Comment