What goes through the mind of a hitter during the split second from a pitcher’s release to the pop of the catcher’s glove has to be one of the most misunderstood, complicated, paradoxical, yet simple milliseconds in human history.
In an average baseball game in 2010, almost three hundred pitches were thrown per ballgame. That means upwards of three hundred times a game this split second decision must occur when a hitter needs to decide to swing the bat or watch it go by.
So the question is – what is the best pitch to hit?
The answer is quite simple – the best pitch to hit is the next pitch being thrown. A hitter’s mentality has to be ready for the next pitch. I am not advocating swing at every pitch by any means, but I am advocating a simple approach that trains the mind to be ready for the next pitch.
A simple “Yes – Yes – Yes” approach and a simple “Yes – Yes – No” approach.
Let me explain.
1st Yes: When the pitcher starts his windup the first yes should occur within the hitter’s mind. When he loads he is a yes position.
2nd Yes: As the pitch is released the hitter’s load and front foot should be down and the second yes occurs.
3rd Yes or 1st No: When the hitter recognizes that the pitched ball is in a good hitting spot the third yes occurs and he fires his swing. At the same time when a hitter recognizes that the pitched ball is out of the zone or not a in a good hitting zone, then the no occurs.
What this is and always will remain is a mindset. An analytical approach to decision making.
We must always start our hitting approach in the yes position. We have a split second so we cannot start our swing believing it will not be a strike. We have to want to hit if we are ever going to be successful. We can’t have a mindset that is in a no position because it is harder to switch that mindset into a yes position.
We never know when the pitcher will make a mistake and lay the ball in the middle of the plate. We have to expect him to make a mistake. We have to want him to make a mistake and if and when he does we have to be ready to strike. We can always change our mind into a no position and even if we do not and we swing at some bad pitches, all hitters will tell you that they get more hits on bad pitches than they get hits on pitches not swung at.
We cannot expect success 100% of the time but if we are not ready to hit then we can expect failure 100% of the time.
Every Hitter needs a mindset of a Yes I want to succeed. This occurs within the mind and a “yes, yes, yes” approach is a simple yet effective way to implement this into your game.