Baseball Magazine

Good Approaches and Good Swings

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Good approaches and good swingsI had the pleasure of accompanying a high school team to South Carolina last week over the Easter Break.  It was wonderful for many reasons but mainly because I didn’t have to stress over all the things a head coach has to deal with.  I was able to roam around to various players and offer tips and suggestions before, during, and after games and practices.  It was great to be around a very talented group of coaches and players.

When I talked with many of the players after their at-bats, I found myself repeating the same thing.  Most of the at-bats I dealt with were along the following:

The batter fouled back or missed a first-pitch fastball out over the plate.  He then would take a couple of pitcher’s pitches to work the count to about 2-2.  The at-bats finished with either a aggressive swing and miss, a pop-up, or a hard hit ball hit straight up or right at someone.  The player came back to the dugout angry and sat on the bench with his head in his hands.

In every case, I wandered over and sat down next to the player.  I got his attention and said, “you obviously didn’t like the result but you should be happy with your approach.”  The players looked at me like I had four heads.  I preceded to say something like the following:

“Taking a healthy swing at a first-pitch fastball out over the plate shows me that you entered the box ready to hit.  That’s a big plus.  You then laid off some pitcher’s pitches and were patient enough to wait for another pitch you could handle.  You got one with two strikes and missed it / popped it up / hit it hard right at someone.  Basically, you won the at-bat in my eyes.  You’re upset because you didn’t get the result you wanted which is understandable but never forget what your true goals are when you step up to the plate – to have a good approach and to take good swings.  You did both which is why, regardless of the result, it’s a good at-bat.  Focus on only getting hits and the game will turn you into an emotional wreck like you are now.  Focus on what you can control – good approaches and good swings – and leave the rest to the baseball gods.”

Like I said to these hitters, your only goal as a hitter should be to take a good approach to your at-bats and then put good swings on the ball.  Do those things consistently and your numbers will take care of themselves.  Focus on your numbers and the game will chew you up and spit you out.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog