Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Working on your own- Great Example
Wasn’t that beautiful? Many players would probably look at that clip and not think “beautiful.” Boring might be a better fit for kids today. It may be boring to some but that would be a result of them not really “seeing” what is in the clip. Upon closer inspection, here are some key features of the clip that many would miss.
He is by himself.
Practicing by yourself is a must if you want to be great. A field, a garage, a gym, a basement, a batting cage, and/or a back yard are the places where good players become great. Waiting for your coach to call a practice will get you nowhere. There are a million things a player can and should be doing on their own if they want to continue playing baseball in the future. As Jean de la Bruyere (17th century French writer) said, “All of our unhappiness comes from our inability to be alone.”
Watch the clip again and count the seconds that pass between the swings. Start counting (or just look at the clock) as soon as the bat hits the ball on the first swing and start counting again from the beginning when the ball is hit again. (Like this … 18, 19, 20, HIT, 1, 2, 3 … HIT ). Notice anything? When I counted, it was EXACTLY 16 seconds between both swings!! How did that happen and why would it matter? Many players hitting off a tee do not take their time. They rush. They swing, swing, swing without any type of rhythm. Joe Mauer takes his time and recognizes that the quality of the swing is much more important than the quantity of swings. Developing a systematic rhythm to your swings gives your body the proper muscle memory that allows it to go on autopilot in times of high stress or pressure. He would not even know it but his natural rhythm between swings off a tee is about 16 seconds. What’s yours need to be?
This goes along with the rhythm piece. After setting the ball on the tee, Mauer goes through his exact, game-like procedure prior to the swing – he looks down to set his feet properly, he gives a normal practice swing, his eyes are forward on where the pitcher would be, he loads up, he strides, and he swings. He is practicing exactly what he wants to do in the game. The rhythm, technique, and timing are all the same.
Posted by Mr. Jordan Stirtz, Mr. Jim Simpson, and Mr. Cole Wills at 7:56 AM