This one baseball tip can make or break your entire season – How to become a better baseball player.
Three months prior to spring training I started working on being the successful hitter I needed to be. I worked on hitting line drives and hard ground balls, taking my singles and doubles. I knew that if I hit balls in the air I was an easy out. I knew who I was and I was ready for camp to start.
First day of spring training I get placed in a batting practice group with Miguel Sano, Kennys Vargas, and Max Kepler. All three are young hitting prospects with tremendous power. After my first round I noticed I was trying to keep up with them and I was trying to hit the ball out of the ball park. All that I had worked on the previous few months I almost threw out the window because I wanted to impress in a way that wasn’t me. I wasted that whole day being something I wasn’t. That’s when I remembered my AAA manager from the year before Gene Glynn, he would tell me fairly often to “be who you are.”
I believe those four words helped me the past two seasons. At 32 and 33 years old I feel like I have had the two best years of my professional career. I may have an unothrodox batting stance, I may not hit with the power of some players. But thats ok, it’s baseball and people with different skills can bring a lot to a team. Once I accepted that idea, I became a better all around player. I worked on bunting, I worked on hitting the ball the other way, I worked on not striking out as much. When I realized who I was as a hitter my confidence went way up. Having confidence at the plate is the best thing you can have during an at bat.
So I guess I am trying to pass along something that really helped me. I know it took 11 years for me to buy into and I hope that it doesn’t take others this long. All baseball players no matter what skill level or age can “be who they are” and be a better player. This is a very important part of how to become a better baseball player.
So the next time you are taking batting practice in a group where your skills differ from theirs, its ok. Be mentally strong enough to be who you are and work on your skills. It’s difficult to do, I know, but you will be tougher mentally and will be a better player.
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