Make a game plan and be introspective while watching the game. You’ll only be at the plate for a combined handful of minutes each game.
Yet, you’ll be watching for the other 2-3 hours, and it’s up to you what you learn and take away.
Ultimately, the best hitters always have a plan, and that plan evolves as they watch the game and the opposing pitcher.
WHAT TO DO:
1. When you’re on-deck, you should be concentrating on timing up the pitcher—get your front foot down at the right time by going through at least the early part of your swing. You adjust to different pitchers by adjusting your front foot timing.
2. Get an idea of pitch quality by watching how your teammates look and ask them questions. This will give you an idea of the quality of a pitcher’s fastball, breaking ball, or changeup before you see it.
3. Watch for patterns from the dugout. Especially in amateur baseball, pitchers fall into many easily recognizable patterns. Maybe they always throw a breaking ball when they get ahead, or they forget about the baserunners with two strikes. Patterns help you narrow down what you should be focusing on, just like on a multiple-choice test.
What do you do to mentally stay in the game and give yourself an edge?