Its playoff time! Teaching visual neutrality to hitters.
Playoff time brings out the best or worst in players. Each series we watch to see which players buy into " it's a big game" mindset that invariably derails performance.
We all have heard that pitching wins championships but let's face it, you still need to score runs and force the other team to play defense also.
Reminder to all the hitters:
The harder you "look" during ball flight and during the pitchers delivery the less you will "see". Space and speed are better measured when the eyes and mind are quiet. No soft or fine focus is needed.
Just be and you shall see. Sunsets,mountains and oceans, remember those images!
Your Go line is closer to the plate than you realize. Get ready physically on time but allow ball flight ( and all its cues) to enter that magic mark where elite hitters live; about 10 feet in front of the plate!
Think barrel. Big games bring big swings.
Hitting is all about barrel control. Get your body out of the swing ( by now your body knows what to do!) and let your eyes lead the barrel to the back of the ball. The harder the pitcher is throwing the less you need to do. Trust the only body part that matters once the game starts; your eyes. Notice the quiet lower halves ( zombie back foot and minimal hip rotation as hitters drive balls oppo or survive the 2 strike challenge.
In breathe we trust. Stick to your routine and be much more aware this time of the year of how the inhale and exhale of your breathing sets you up for a great at-bat. Clear mind, clear picture. They go together.
Visual neutrality. " stay back, see it longer, swing at strikes, get a good pitch to hit, command the strike zone, hit your pitch".
You have heard this well intended advice since little league. Bottom line your eyes need to stay in hunt mode longer to allow the body not to react too early to ball flight. Great hitting performances are sometimes described as the ability to be visually disciplined (neutral longer)
during ball flight and "funneling in " the pitched ball into your preferred hitting lanes ( in and out) or hitting ladders ( down or top of the strike zone). Put another way, hit the pitch you want to and have seen in your minds eye before actually ball flight!
Adjustments this time of the year that win championships are not physical. Hitters this time of the year do not buy into the big game rhetoric and simply rely on the only the thing that matters come game time. Be visually neutral longer and watch the frozen ropes appear!