Hitting well in Batting Practice but not in the Game


One of the biggest things I hear with young
hitters is that they do very well in batting practice but then when it comes game time,
they’re struggling a little bit and this is common. I hear this a lot and I think it
happens for a few reasons. One, the player could be not practicing at
game speed enough, meaning could be working on the tee too much or doing front toss a
little too much or if he’s getting thrown batting practice. He could be too slow. He
could be under game speed. So majority of the player swings are happening
at slower than game speed. So when he gets in there and sees a good fastball and some
good off-speed pitches, he’s going to be all out of whack. OK? If this is the case, then you could do a few
things. First, speed it up. If you got a coach that’s throwing BP to the player, have him
speed it up a little bit. Get it a little bit flatter, more aligned, with a little bit
more gas. Secondly, high tee drill is great because
a lot of times on the slower pitches, they’re coming in on a little bit of an arc and the
player gets used to coming down here and getting through, a little bit loopy. Not that getting
into a good swing plane is bad. You definitely want to get on a good swing plane but if you
got pitches coming in like this all the time, you might get a little bit too deep and get
used to being too deep there. So working on the high tee, the high tee drill
getting from here, front elbow to the pitch and getting through it to work on those pitches
that are sped up, because usually when you get in there, with a guy who is not ready
for a good fast ball, they’re getting beat above their hands. So high tee drill is good.
Obviously working on hitting higher velocity. Maybe getting in the machine and speed it
up a little bit so you can speed your hands up. Now I don’t like the machine a whole bunch.
I would rather you have a coach or a parent throw faster to the player. But if you can’t
make that happen, you got to go for the second best thing, right? I think more importantly than anything that
I just talked about, 95 percent of the guys that are having this problem are having it
because it’s a mental issue over a training issue. I would say you got a handful of guys.
That’s the reason they’re not practicing it enough. But most of the reason – and
it could be both. But most of the reason is because it’s a different mindset in practice
versus in the game. When you’re in the cage and there are no
fans around, there are no parents around and you’re feeling relaxed and comfortable and
you’re just in there grooving balls and having a good time, you’re playing a lot
more freely. But when you get into the game and you got all these eyeballs looking at
you and everyone is counting on you or at least it feels like everyone is counting on
you to get that hit, you can freeze up and a lot of guys – I can see it when they get
into the batter’s box is that they tense up. It’s almost like they start to – start
shaking. I’ve been there. Your heart rate gets going a little bit fast. You feel like
– you can almost feel the eyeballs on you, feel everyone watching you and you just become
a totally different player, right? So what you need to do as a player to get
over this is to – first of all, you can’t not care because if you say, “Oh, I’m
just not going to care when I get up there,” then you’re not going to be playing for
the right reason. Caring is good when you get up there. But you want to be able to control
your emotions and slow the game down. All right? So when you get in there, take a deep breath
all the way into your belly. Blow it out and get ready to hit. When you get in there, you
should quiet your mind down. Shouldn’t be having a whole bunch of stuff going through
your mind. Just think about see the ball, hit the ball and you can talk yourself into
having a good mindset. Before you get up there, calm yourself down and then tell yourself.
Hey, I’ve been swinging really well in practice. I’m going to get up here. I’m going to
do the same thing. I’m about to crush this ball. When you talk to yourself that way, you give
yourself more confidence and then when you get in there, calm down, deep breath, see
the ball, hit the ball and let your body do what it has been doing in the cage the whole
time. OK? So I hope this helps. Work on both. Ninety-five
percent of you guys need to work on this. But a handful of you guys probably get some
benefit out of the high tee and working a little bit faster on the pitches. Do both of them and neither one are going
to hurt, but definitely work on your mindset. Get in there. Make sure you can calm yourself
down. Slow the game down. Play hard. Play aggressive. But emotionally slow the game
down. Get in there and feel confident when you’re hitting. All right guys? I hope this
helps. I will talk to you soon. If you found this video helpful, please subscribe
and then join the free newsletter at YouGoProBaseball.com.

17 thoughts on “Hitting well in Batting Practice but not in the Game

  1. Hey john, im having a problem with my shoulder, when i pitch about 15-20 pitches my pitching shoulder starts to hurt. is there anything i can do to help get my shoulder in better shape

  2. Great video jefe (chief) having exact same problem, my son 12 years old in 7th grade, playing high school freshman ball, is totally wacked out by the distance, in the cage he murders the ball, but in the game he is too early, jumping at the ball, most of the time hard chopper to 3rd base, he always puts the ball in play even with good pitching but, I know he hits better, , yea I think its mental, thank you

  3. hey man, thanks for making this video, I'm acctually having problems mentally and with my speed, but not only when I'm batting at the game, also when I'm playing on the field

  4. I have the opposite problem I hit good in game but I suck in bp which I guess is good because it's the game that counts

  5. Awesome video! i have seen so many of these videos where the coach only talks about it from a mechanical standpoint instead of the more likely issue of having the wrong mindset. keep it up john!

  6. It’s exact opposite for me, high school pitches are way to slow and I can’t wait for the pitch to come to the plate. It’s frustrating.

  7. Its your mentality because you think of alot of things i know the same thing happens to me i hit a foul ball into a back of a pickup truck on a foul ball it was crazy to see for me to happen

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