Sports psychology and tips for hitting baseball: how and why to relax at the plate
The baseball season is about to begin and I already receive calls from parents, players and coaches who are concerned about losing streaks.
Anyone who has played baseball for a period of time has experienced the frustration of a prolonged hitting slump. And there are many causes of these performance valleys.
Some of the causes are physical. A failure in mechanics, poor balance, poor technique, a moving head, a strong grip on the bat, or an injury can all contribute to poor performance in baseball players.
Some of the causes of lows are mental. A batter who has been hit by a pitch can freak out in the batter’s box. A player who has hit badly can lose confidence. A hitter who is preoccupied with impressing his coach, parents, or scout can become quite anxious. A player who is in conflict with his teammates may find it difficult to reach his potential. Similarly, a player with stress related to his life off the field may have a difficult time concentrating when he steps up to the plate.
Also, it is important to understand that there are many mind-body relationships when it comes to hitting a baseball. For example, a nervous player tends to grip the baseball bat too tightly. Similarly, a tense player may have a difficult time turning on a field.
Interestingly, some people believe that our vision worsens when we are tense and improves when we are relaxed.
There are many ways to relax your mind and body before hitting.
Players can learn relaxation, meditation, visualization, or self-hypnosis techniques. Some players benefit from listening to music on the bench or before a game. Others do aerobics before going out to the field, as they find that this helps them relax when they get up to bat.
Tension will work against you at home plate, so it’s important for baseball players to learn how to get very comfortable when facing the opposing pitcher.