15+ Baseball Training Tips: Applied Vision Baseball Instagram "Best Ofs"
Drop The Excuses
“It just doesn't come naturally” isn’t a valid excuse on the path of becoming an elite ballplayer.
If you get beat on inside fastballs if you struggle with the breaking ball or offspeed if you struggle with confidence when facing dominant pitching if you struggle driving the ball on the outside part of the plate…
…formulate a plan to work on these things, then execute the plan.
There’s never been a big leaguer who came out of their mother's womb as an elite hitter.
Sure - some are born to swing it, but most develop by pushing past perceived limits.
Most of us fall short of our limits to truly know just how far we can take our abilities.
Let’s get to work.
Keep Facts Over Feelings
As hitters, sometimes we’re all feelings, no facts.
Feelings: you went 0-4 today so you suck.
Facts: you went 0-4 today because hitting is one of the hardest things to do CONSISTENTLY in all of sports. Your job is to adjust and stay in process.
Feelings: the coach benched you because he doesn’t like you and he's playing favorites.
Facts: Good coaches have to play the best 9 to win. it’s your job to be so good you can’t be ignored. Be a great teammate. Be vocal. And when you get your shot, be ready.
Feelings: since i’ve always struggled, i always will struggle.
Fact: the past does not dictate your future. how good you get is based on your priorities. if reaching your potential is a priority, you’ll find a way. if it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.
Sometimes, we let our feelings get in the way of what’s true.
Here’s the truth. If you decide today to never stop getting better, it will be impossible to fail.
keep facts over feelings.
Earn Sweet Equity
When you realize that most of your growth as a ballplayer will happen while working on your own, by yourself with nothing but a bat, a bucket of balls, and a tee, you free to take your gifts as far as you want to.
It’s true, not all players are created equal. Each player has a ceiling.
Chances are, you’re not going to be the next Mike Trout or Nolan Arenado, but you can be the best YOU, because the ceiling potential tends to rise as our executions rise, and most players fall short of their true potential because they're not willing to pay the price.
If you’re reading this, I believe your potential is much larger than you think or have been told.
Gather the right knowledge & inspiration.
Create a plan, then execute that plan with sweat equity.
Understand Prime Swing Patterns
The basic prime movements of a good swing consist of a:
- Load, separation, or stretch with the hands and weight, moving slightly back.
- A weight transfer with minimized head movement.a bat path that starts on the plane of the pitch, early and long.
- Balance at the point of contact.
The more athletic the hitter, the more efficient the prime movements of the swing.
The less athletic, the more tension and anxiety and ultimately the less efficient the prime movements of the swing.
Think Effortless Effort & Flow
Good players make tough plays look easy.
Good players make the routine play look effortless.
Good players make the field seem small.
Good players play with flow. The transfer of energy in a swing, throw, and catch is the easiest tell for players who’ve achieved a certain level of flow.
It’s called efficient athletic ability.
A good coach or scout will see it from a mile away.
Let’s call it freedom and flow or effortless effort.
The steps to achieve this level of flow will come from two things.
Quality reps at high quantities.Strength and range of motion.
Make your movements efficient.
Stop Chasing Stats & The Batting Average
The day you stop chasing the batting average and stats…and finally decide to focus only on the metrics you can control, you will begin to feel some freedom at the plate.
Ever hit a ball so right on the screws that you didn’t feel the ball come off the bat? That's the best feeling in the world, right? I call that REAL freedom.
That's the feeling you want everytime you're at the plate.
And you can manufacture that by
- staying committed to the process
- keeping a short-term memory
- keeping a long-term perspective
- having an approach & plan to win the at-bat
- building up your teammates
- remembering to have fun
The beautiful thing about this is it requires zero talent. It’s a choice you make every time you step on the field.
When you stop chasing stats, the stats chase you.
Work On Your Hitting I.Q.
Here are a few hitting I.Q. tips that work when facing advanced pitching.
A pitcher will throw you the same pitch until you prove you can handle it.
If you’re late on the fastball, lunging at the curveball, or rolling over on pitches middle awaY, these pitches normally become the pitch the pitcher starts you off with or the pitch to strike you out with.
Next, Be aggressively early. If you get count-leverage, don’t get cheated by the fastball.
Hunt pitches. If you smoked his fastball in the third inning, do you think you’re going to get a fastball to hit with runners on late in the ball game?
Probably not. Two out of three pitches will be the breaking ball or off-speed.
Lastly - be tough with two strikes. Make the pitcher work. Put pressure on the defense.
When you put the ball in play, you give your team a chance.
Know How Good You Wanna Be
How good do you wanna be?
It’s not about how good you are it’s about:
- how good you want to be.
- the plan to get you to where you wanna be.
- how persistent and committed you are.
I don’t care what you’ve been told. No one…and I mean no one knows how good you’re going to be.
There’s never been a better time than now to identify and work on weaknesses.
If you struggle with velocity, move up the plate & work on getting your foot down early while you get to point of contact on time.
If you struggle with the curveball, get access to a curveball Wiffle Ball machine and work loading late & driving balls up the middle.
If you don’t have access to a gym, get in your push up, bridges, plyometrics.
There’s so much good training info online it’s mind-blowing.
If you don’t have access to a cage, set aside 5 minutes everyday & work on seeing yourself hit hard line drives in the gap, in your mind.
The reality is - if you wanna get better, you’ll find a way.
It’s not about how good you are, it’s about how good you wanna be.
The opportunity is now.
Sharpen your strengths so they become weapons. Work on your weaknesses so they don’t become liabilities.
Know How To Build Yourself Up
The moment you step in the batters’ box, the most important thing running through your head is the thought that says, “I have what it takes to beat the pitcher. Period.”
Belief in the box is so important it’s mind-blowing.
What you focus on expands. The mental self-talk in your mind, matters
Build yourself up. Choose what to think.
Be a gamer. Win the at-bat.
Give Yourself Freedom to Fail
In a game loaded with failure, a hitter's biggest challenge is to be confident and stay confident.
Hitters have to give themselves the freedom to fail.
How good you get at dealing with failure will dictate:
- How quickly you make adjustments.
- How consistently you grow confidence from the things you can control.
- How instinctually motivated you develop as an athlete.
- How much of a grinder & competitor you are, and ultimately how much fun you have.
At the end of the day, when you have fun, you will play well.
Learn to love adversity.
Give yourself freedom to fail.
Learn How To Cut Down On Strikeouts
Sometimes, when we strike out, it’s not the third strike that we strike out on.
It’s the first or second strike that we should have drove or put in play.
When we’re not geared up for the next pitch, or we’re trying to pull pitches we have no business pulling, we’re not doing anything but throwing away at-bats.
If you have a good swing - great.
If you have the right approach - even better.
A pitcher’s best pitch is "strike one” and their “defense.
Be aggressive early & get a good pitch that you can drive into the big parts of the gap.
When your goal is to win the at-bat, it makes this process much easier.
Master How To Slow Down The Ball
Loose muscles are quick muscles.
The muscles around the eyes are no different. When there’s strain around the eyes, your pitch recognition suffers. When there is too much head movement, your pitch recognition suffers.
Keep the eye-gaze soft. Minimize head movement.
You achieve this by controlling your breathing & slowing down the feet. (shorter strides/foot down early.)
Keep A Reframe In Your Mind
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
When you fail to get on base, think: There are no bad at-bats if you’re learning.
When you strike-out, think: Each bad at-bat is a step closer to a good one.
When you’re 0-3 or nervous an important game, think: The only at-bat that matters is the present one.
When your teammates are struggling at the plate, think: Each pitch is a chance to be a hero.
When you wake up in the morning on game day, think: Every game is a chance to build skills that will set me up for life.
When you’re scuffling at the plate, think: Confidence comes from preparation & being a good teammate instead of from success and stats.
Use a reframe.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Train To Be a True Hitter
True hitters have approaches that matches their strengths.
Before you learn how to hit for power, learn how to be a really good hitter first.
Drive the ball to all fields. be a serious line-drive hitting machine, gap-to-gap with some serious pitch recognition skills.
Lastly - develop “off the charts” toughness.
When you get great at fighting tooth & nail, one pitch at a time while swing w/ intent to do damage, the slugging will take care of itself.
Be a true hitter.
Baseball is one of the most over coached sports on the planet.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of swing mechanics has a place, but sometimes you can coach an instruct the athleticism out of a swing, and that’s never good.
Sometimes - instead of adding things to a swing, it’s better to take things out and use only what’s useful.
See it well. Be on time. Be athletic w/ the right approach.
My advice to you hitters is to stop thinking so dang much about your swing mechanics and learn how to play with freedom.
Increase Hand-Eye Coordination
Did you know you can increase cognitive capacity by leveraging your stress and arousal system?
In other words, the more aggressive you are at the plate, the more accurate your hand-eye coordination will be.
This is why I say "competing your tail off & swinging with intent to do damage" is so important.
When your timing is off, you’re not seeing the ball well, and your mechanics feel funky, increase your aggression level a tick.
Be a True Gamer
How a hitter responds to their bad at-bats says more about them and their projection than almost anything else.
You wanna really take your hitting to the next level?
See each failure as a lesson.
Every hitter has an 0-10, 0-15, and yes, even and 0-20.
Learn to love adversity.
Be a gamer. Refuse to quit.
Pitch Recognition App
Increase your hard contact consistency and optimize your hitting approach by simulating a week's worth of at-bats in one session.
How The App Works
Take a peek at how the AVB pitch recognition app works.
Keep in mind - we make new iterations, add new pitchers and drills in the app quarterly, so chances are the interface & features will be optimized.