How to face intimidating pitchers is a question I get often from youth baseball coaches and parents.
"My players are intimidated while in the box! What do I do?"
The toughest pitcher I ever faced was Roger Clemens.
1. Don't give the pitcher too much credit.
Looking back, I don't think it was so much his "stuff" that got me out but rather me being a 29-year-old "rookie" and him being "Roger Clemens".
What did I learn from this? No matter who you face, they have to throw the ball over the plate to get you out...
...so don't let who you face dictate how you feel at the plate.
Instead of getting "caught up" in you you're facing, get caught up in the baseball and the strike-zone.
Now - it's just about getting a good pitch to hit with a controlled, violent swing while hunting pitches.
2. Change your definition of success
If your goal is to be the best competitor on the field instead to get 3 hits, you've got a shot at facing an elite pitcher consistently.
It's when you're basing your success on whether you get a hit that doubt, pressure, and anxiety creeps in.
Intimidation happens when your definition of success is based on something you can't control.
My career started the day I said: "I don't care what my stats are".
I still hit between .260 - .290 but my production doubled because I went into "I don't give a crap" mode.
Unfortunately, I figured this out when I was 30. lol
Trust me, if I would have figured this out in high school, college or even my first year in pro ball, you would have heard of me. 😉
3. Be a better competitor than you are a player
The next time you face an intimidating pitcher, think about being a better competitor than you are a hitter.
If you hit the ball hard, you win. If you get a hit, it's a bonus.
New game, new pitcher, new chance to be the hero!
4. Get rid of the batting average
Lastly - if you want to overcome intimidating pitchers, hitters have to go into, "I don't give a crap mode" while getting rid of the batting average.
Let me explain...
See - I'm trying to help you hit your highest batting average, believe it or not, by getting the confident player to show up.
The batting average - is it the biggest trap in the game? Absolutely...
...because I can do everything right and still go 0 for 4.
I've spoken to so many schools across the country about the mental side of hitting, schools that I never even heard of that are looking for players that can play the game. If you want to get over intimidating pitchers and play at the next level, just keep working! Keep playing!
Walk up, play with confidence with an attainable goal to hit the ball hard, go help your team win.
Be Great at watching the pitcher, attack the inside part of the ball.
Breathe, slow the game down. The more and more I go watch games, the more I see players play this game with tension, anxiety, and pressure.
We have to get over that.
How do we do it?
Change what we think success is.
5. Be good, consistently
Since I call every, single person that orders my CD, I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody said "my son's great in the cage but freezes in the game. It's pressure, anxiety, and tension, and if you're playing with that, you do not get what we're talking about.
Because what we talk about is easier said than done, but it can be done when you get great at the mental side of hitting. This is why I teach the importance of going into "don't give a crap mode."
Sometimes we care too much and we care too much about "me" and my "performance". So we're all focused on the wrong thing.
It's not about you. It's about you helping your team win.
How do you get labeled a great player isn't by achieving perfection or being great.
It's being good, consistently.
A little goes a long way. If you want to play baseball at the highest level, get great at competing with confidence with an attainable goal to hit the ball hard.
If you want to get to hitting with confidence FASTER, join over 3,000 hitters who are training their mental side of hitting, bat-speed and hitting I.Q. in the >>> QAB Academy