Part 2: Learn Hitting Instructions with a Smarter Approach

Hitting Instructions: Adversity

"I'm all tied up inside." Bob Wiley from the movie What About Bob. Without the right hitting instructions we're just like Bob here, except for the multi-phobic panic disorder thing.

This hitting instructions article is your lifeline when pressure mounts, things don't go our way, and how to avoid being the five-o-clock hitter.

So, don't miss the following...

4. Using Adversity

Baseball is loaded with adversity, so the right hitting instructions allow your mind to free up, therefore allowing your body to do what comes naturally...hit more doubles! Adversity comes in all shapes and sizes...Dictionary.com says this about Adversity...

"Adverse fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress"

From injury to weather, losing a loved one to losing a star athlete for an extended period of the season, etc. the list goes on. Overcoming this "misfortune" separates the average from above average. That's the difference between a Major Leaguer and a minor leaguer, is how they deal with adversity. AND a little player politicking sprinkled in to add flavor of course.

The good news is, you can put adversity on your side, in other words, you can train for it!

Now, listen...

Here's a zen mantra I ran into the other day, it went something like this,

A lotus growing in water, when exposed to fire, will wither and die. But a lotus growing near fire, will bloom and flourish.

We have to expose ourselves to the hard elements (adversities) or we'll crumble like a house of cards when the money's on the line.

Put aside hitting instructions for a moment, remember...

Watching the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing? We all got to see Michael Phelps obtain 8 Gold medals and break, not only Gold medals won by one particular person in one Olympic setting, but world swimming records he set along the way. Boy, did he make it look easy, well almost...

A few of the races his goggles filled up with water after the start, he never complained...France was talking trash before the men's relay, he wasn't phased...

According to Michael Phelps's mother, he is able to deal with adversity like the Greek God/Man Achilles, because he was teased and bullied as a child in school...whatever the case, adversity comes in many forms and sizes, and he was able to harness it like a streamlined butterfly, literally.

How do you harness hitting instructions that practice dealing with adversity surrounding the game?

Does music distract you when you read? Then train yourself to overcome it by reading while playing music at high volumes, and still retain what you're downloading.

Does your heart race like a hummingbird when you're at the plate? Work interval sprints into your workout routines.

Want to learn great habits for controlling your breathing and developing a poker face under pressure? Take Yoga or play racquetball with older people (who are experienced players, of course, you'll know what I'm talking about when you do).

Be the solution, NOT the problem, and acknowledge adversity for what it is, a challenge.

Do you want a powerful experiment to train against this multi-headed monster? Try wearing a 21-day NO complaining, NO gossiping, and NO cursing rubber band on your wrist.

Every time you do one of the above, you wack yourself with the band. The goal is to last 21 consecutive days without a whack. (that also goes for that inner voice of yours). If this is too easy for you, then there's one of two things:

  • You're perfect, like Jesus, and we all need to worship YOU, OR
  • You're bull...pardon my French...SH$%ing yourself.

Be honest about your progress and at the end you'll be a better hitter when that 2-strike curveball gets thrown at you. Be the lotus that blooms near fire.

Talk about mind control! If you can control your thoughts like this at the plate, then you'll be more positive when the game-is-on-the-line. Remember the phrase, you are what you eat? Well, in baseball, what you think is what you are.

If thoughts point to you stinking up the harbor, well then by God you will. If you're clear and proactive with your thinking, then you'll succeed sooner than later. It's the law of the universe!

Back to hitting instructions in trying the 21-Day NO Complaining bracelet challenge,

Think you're a big shot, try it...a pastor in Kansas City started this experiment with his congregation and it took him 3.5 months to put together the streak, others he said took over 7 months to complete. It took me a little over 3 months myself.

Learning to put adversity on your team with these hitting instructions will put you head and shoulders above the pack.

Last but not least, let's now talk about,

5. Slowing Down Time

This is one of my favorite things to do. In regard to baseball hitting instructions, it's going through the swing in slow motion. This point goes hand-in-hand with making small circles in Part 1...break apart the swing, and do it in slow-mo.

You have to train your body to move in the right direction first, so we don't get to a destination that's 200 miles down the road and find out we've been traveling the wrong way.

I use this all the time with my hitting students because the tendency is for them to swing too hard. I understand, they want to see the ball go far, it's only natural. But I tell them, less is always more, so swing in slow motion. Once they get that, then I tell them to swing at 60-70% speed, and that usually gets them to their natural swing tempo.

The bottom line to game dominating hitting instructions?

You can have the best swing in the world, but if you can't deal with adversity, then you're a dud. Ever heard of the five-o-clock hitter?? This is the person who hits home runs at batting practice, but couldn't hit their way out of a wet paper bag in the game. We all need to train for adversity, and not let it get the best of us.

Be the fiery lotus flower, and remember:

Every marathon begins with one step, so when we begin a new concept with our swings, slow it down and study the heck out of it by closing the eyes and using more body awareness.

Remember, Invest in loss, sometimes you have to take a step back, in order to take two forward.

Return from Part 2: Hitting Instructions back to Part 1: Baseball Hitting Instruction