If you ask someone what the hardest part about baseball is, you will receive an array of answers. The truth is most answers are wrong. The hardest part of baseball is staying focused. Focus is the determining factor for achievement in the game. Remember yesterday we are battling the ball, not the other team. The other team is there to take away our focus on the ball.
An average Major League game lasts just around 3 hours, during that game the ball is in motion for a total of 8 minutes. When the ball is moving it travels for an average of 4 seconds to complete a play.
So how do you handle the down time? You don’t. You create systems that allow you to clear the distractions created within the downtime; your dad yelling instructions, your coach making sure you're ready, your girlfriend or friends in the stands, your strikeout, your last error, your mechanics, your …….. The list is endless. Any thought while the ball is in flight will cause a delay in reaction and focus. Equaling failure.
Clear the mechanism. This is what we teach.
Infield: Draw a circle in the dirt. When you enter the circle, all focus is devoted to the ball. When you are outside the circle, listen to instructions then decide what you are going to do before you enter the circle.
Pitchers: Decide how to handle the runner on your walk back to the rubber. Not while you are on it. Then focus on the logo on the catcher’s chest to clear your mind before the pitch. This will allow you to clear your vision on just your target and not the catcher, hitter, or umpire.
Hitters: Make your decision before stepping in the box. Then stair at the small letter on your bat and take a deep breath. This not only clears and calms the body but also switches your eyes from soft focus (seeing everything) to hard focus (seeing just the ball)