Not to Swing. [Boo, Hiss] I agree game situation is something to consider, but most coaches will justify not having him swing based on, “The odds are in the hitter’s favor they will reach first base on a walk.” When the real reason is because the coach does not trust the hitter’s ability to make a good decision.
It is true most hitters are not comfortable swinging in a 3-0 count. Why, we have programmed them that way. You ask what to do on a 3-0 count and their immediate response is, “Take a Pitch,” robotically. They don’t know why and when pressed the best answer they give is, that’s what the coach calls all the time. In defense, it is true most hitters have no idea what pitch they can hit for a double or more, and just as robotically as their answer regarding taking a pitch too many hitters just swing at strikes. Why? Cause it’s a strike, without any recognition it only takes one pitch to hit the ball. It’s almost a fear of failure thing. Who wants to make an out after they get the count to 3-0. So the safe thing is to not swing until they have too!
Result: Most hitters get the Take-Sign.
Yet when you think about it, a 3-0 count may be one of the best hitting opportunities in a sport based upon the battle between the hitter and a pitcher.
It is true it only takes one pitch to hit a baseball, but a 3-0 count is a unique situation where the hitter is in charge (Bear in mind I believe the hitter always has the edge, but that is another blog). Learn to make the right decision versus worrying about whether you are going to make an out or not! A ball we have a walk, a strike we still have two more opportunities to decide. Know your pitch and look for it!
To Swing; Be confident enough to hit with your brain versus emotions creates opportunities for the coach, as well the hitter. Now both can respond according to the game situation versus having a coach debate whether his hitter will make a good decision at the plate or not. Tell them to be smart versus an automatic Take Sign. A hitter’s knowledge of the strike zone and his pitch is powerful when combined with the trust of a coach.
I could make an argument more pressure is on the pitcher therefore he is likely to serve it up, so take advantage and swing at your pitch! A smart hitter creates the opportunity to break a game wide open.
Result: Want to tilt the odds in your favor as a hitter, check out “Hitting is Simple…Have You Figured It Out Yet?”
Until next Blog,