Know your cues and adjust them as needed
Every hitter has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Some are great at pulling the ball but not so great at staying back and going the other way. Others are just the opposite. The important thing is to know what they are. If you do then you can better address them in practice and then turn them into cues for the game.
I mentioned batting cues in a previous post called Hitting: The five stages of focus. I mentioned that when a hitter is into the “On-deck’ stage, he needs to narrow his focus to a few keys or cues that will help him succeed in his upcoming at-bat. Here is what I wrote.
On-Deck. Focus begins to narrow.
Recognizing the situation you will be batting in. Runners on?, outs?, score?, inning?, bunting situation?, etc.
Much less focus on overall mechanics and more on a batter’s “keys” – hands back, stay on top, be aggressive, etc. NOTE: Each batter should create a short list of “keys” that are specific to their individual success. Ask a coach if you are not sure what they might be. Keep your thoughts to these keys only. Stick with short positive phrases like “Stay on top” or “aggressive through the ball.” Avoid negative commands like “Don’t loop the bat” or “Don’t swing at bad pitches.” Tell your body what you want it to do as opposed to what you don’t want it to do.
Of course, the keys or cues you create for yourself are going to depend on your strengths and weaknesses. If you have been getting jammed a lot lately then saying “stay back” is not going to help you. Conversely, if you are rolling over and hitting lots of ground balls to the shortstop then saying “get the barrel out front” isn’t going to help you either. Pick the cues that are most relevant to you at the moment and change them as needed.
Hitting is a constant string of adjustments not only on the physical side but on the mental side as well.