Take your practice swing into the game!

hitting mindset practice vs game swings Oct 03, 2023
Baseball Swing

Using the swing and confidence a player has in practice in the game can be difficult! Many players have a high sense of confidence when doing batting practice and spend hours working on the technicality of their swing. But, when they get to the plate, somehow everything changes. Coach Duke Baxter and Steve Nikorak explain how to take the great practice swing into the game.   

Coach Steve thinks that a consistent practice routine and the ability to flush out any distractions or worries about the game is key. In the cage, kids are fearless. They do not worry about the pitcher or the score. They practice with a good, full, strong swing, but when they step into the game, fear sets in... 

Translating a practice swing into a successful in-game swing in baseball requires a combination of mental fortitude, technical consistency, and adaptability. Here are the top three things baseball players should keep in mind to bridge that gap.

Mental Preparation and Confidence: The psychological aspect of the game plays a significant role. Players need to trust in their training and maintain the same confidence they feel during practice when they step up to the plate. Visualization exercises can be helpful. Before the game or even between innings, players can close their eyes and visualize themselves successfully executing their swing just as they do in practice. Over time, this can help in reducing performance-related anxiety and instill self-belief.

Repetition and Muscle Memory: Consistency in practice is crucial. The more a player repeats a particular movement, the more ingrained it becomes in their muscle memory. By maintaining a consistent practice routine where they execute the same swing repeatedly, players can ensure that their bodies naturally reproduce that swing during the heightened pressure of a game. Regularly practicing under conditions that mimic real game situations (like facing live pitching) can also be immensely helpful.

Adaptability: While consistency in practice is essential, players must also be adaptable. In a live game, they'll face different pitchers with various baseball pitching styles and speeds. Players should practice against a variety of pitches and speeds to be prepared for any situation. This includes being able to recognize pitches, adjust to different release points, and adapt to the game's rhythm.

By mastering these three areas, baseball players will be in a strong position to seamlessly translate their practice performance into successful game outcomes.


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