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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Baseball


The Right Mental Approach
to the Game of Baseball

Bill Bathe

What is a mental approach and what is the right frame of mind? You often hear about the mental approach to the game. But some people don't understand what this means. It simply means how you think about the game before actually playing the game. Let's explore it.

Before you even reach the field there is a preparation that takes place. It all starts in practice and even on the drills you are doing before the game. You often hear 'the right frame of mind'. Well, it applies to all aspects of baseball.

As far as practice, it simply means that you are going about your business with a purpose in mind and doing it efficiently. Let's take an example. You are about to do tee work to help your swing. Do you just put the tee up and start hacking? Or do you work on the areas that you need to, like hitting the ball the other way off the tee with you visualizing the outside pitch? You need to have a purpose to what you are doing.

And when you practice, utilize the time to practice the right way. I would rather have 10 minutes of quality, purposeful practice than 20 minutes of practice with no idea of what you are trying to work on.

Same thing goes for batting practice. Are you in the right frame of mind? Are you just wailing away at the pitches. Or are you hitting with purpose and trying to accomplish things? Once again, give me 10 minutes of quality hitting with purpose and not 20 minutes of hooking the ball foul with no idea of what you are trying to do.

These are all small things that carry over into a game. It all begins at this stage of the game. Practice the right way with purpose and you will go into the game with the right frame of mind.

What about the right approach to the game? The mental approach to the game starts with preparation. This means doing your homework and knowing the opposition. What kind of pitcher is throwing today? Is it a sidearm lefthander or an over the top righthander that throws 95 mph? If it's a sidearming lefthander, than maybe in batting practice I will visualize the sinking fastball on the outside corner and really work hard on shortening up and just trying to stroke the ball the other way. If it's a hard throwing flame thrower than maybe my batting practice today will be on being short to the ball and trying to be a little quicker. Do you see what I mean?

Now you are having purpose the right frame of mind, or simply, the right mental approach to the game. By combining the right mental approach with the right drills and practice, you will be well on your way to vastly improving your game.

Bill Bathe - former major league ballplayer who played in 1989 world series. Been coached by Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, and Dusty Baker to name a few. To visit his website and learn more just click on pro baseball drills and baseball equipment to take you there. Also, inspirational stories on his journey to the big leagues.

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