Saturday, December 31, 2016

Your Off Season Advantage: Mental ABs




A mental at-bat is a simulation, a visualization of an actual at-bat, and may include any number of real or imagined stimuli: bat in hand or imagined, uniform on or street clothes, in the dugout during a game or in your living room on a Tuesday night.

Mental ABs use the power of imagery, visualization and the mind's eye, to enhance confidence and emulate the experience gained of having a live at-bat. The power in this practice is in the power of imagery. In relation to confidence from experiences, the mind cannot separate what is real experience from what is imagined.

At Lee University, our lineup card has our game lineup on the left, and our "Mental ABs" lineup on the right. Non-starting hitters practice and go through their in the hole, on deck and pre-AB routines just as they would live in the game.

If a hitter is a part-time player and only gets four at-bats this week, he does not have but four opportunities for focused thought, approach planning and adjustment making. If that same hitter got 16 mental ABs from the four games he in which he did not play, he now has 20 at bats of experience.

Cold outside? Hitting facility closed? Got to the field earlier than anyone else? Tired of studying for your business finance test? GET YOUR MENTAL ABs IN.

Here's an explanation of what imagery is and how to best use it:
http://www.appliedsportpsych.org/resource-center/resources-for-athletes/sport-imagery-training/

And here's a great article on Olympic athletes and their experiences with imagery: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/sports/olympics/olympians-use-imagery-as-mental-training.html

Sunday, December 18, 2016

What the Elite 1% Know About Hitting


(photo credit: mlb.com)


The elite hitters, I'm talking the top 1% in any league, know something most don't admit. Becoming the best hitter at your level takes unrelenting, insatiable, purposeful work ethic. 

The top hitters pay attention to, and work habitually on:

  • pitcher tendencies
  • scouting reports
  • weather elements impacting ball flight and fielding
  • swing mechanics
  • pitch to pitch approaches
  • weight room strength and stamina
  • flexibility
  • nutrition and supplementation
  • recovery, improving quality of their rest
  • mental focus, ability to concentrate on a task
  • vision training, ability to focus on fast moving objects
Ok, you get it, the best hitters in the world work the hardest. Most of them, yes. Those who sustain success, absolutely. 

So many players "work hard." What's the big deal? What's so special about 1%?

At 212 degrees, water boils. At 211 degrees, you have really hot water. At 212 degrees, that boiling water produces steam. Steam can power a locomotive. Locomotives powered the industrial revolution, changing the course of the United States' history. America's ability to harness steam had the same impact on the 19th century as computers did on the 20th century. 

(photo credit: Pintrest)

So, why is the extra 1 degree, or the extra 1%, the main subject of this post? 

Because it is completely controllable! You are in control of your work ethic. Decisions shape our lives. In every moment, we decide what to listen to, how to prioritize, and what things mean to us. 

You can maximize your ability to RAKE. 

We all know we can plan, prepare and maximize our abilities and skills. To get more, we must become more. Here are some strategies for getting off of your anatomy:


  1. Listen to less talk radio. All those folks do is argue and complain, filling your brain with negatives. Instead, buy an inspiring audio CD. Perhaps something from Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Carol Dweck, Steve Springer or Brian Cain).
  2. Make your bed when you wake up. There is a reason the military service men and women make their beds, and it isn't simply attention to detail. Making your bed is a cause set in motion, an energy giving accomplishment that states: I'm going to win today. 
  3. That thing you don't want to do: do it. Build emotional muscle by doing what you should do, when you should do it.
  4. Take a notepad with you to the cages. Write down your planned attack hitting, and keep track of your mental notes. Log the successes of your rounds, just as you would in the gym.
  5. Take a notepad to the gym!
  6. Plan your day before you go to sleep, and pack tomorrow's food before you hit the hay.  Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. - John Wooden
  7. Surround yourself with accountability. Write your goals on your bathroom mirror. Get an accountability hitting partner. Print a photo of the person you admire most and plaster it in your locker.
  8. Go to darrendaily.com and get an A+ positive video message sent you every Monday-Friday.
  9. Call Dr. Rob Gilbert every day and listen to his voice recording! He has a different story every day. Put him on your favorites list! 973.743.4690. 
  10. Whatever it is you are thinking of doing...DO IT. DO IT RIGHT. DO IT RIGHT NOW!