Seems like a pretty simple word doesn’t it? Of course, it is until we apply it to the skills required to be a successful hitter. A quick look at the thesaurus tells us that other words with the same meaning are flawless, reliable, sure-fire or unassailable.
Does that list sound like the kind of things we say when we talk about hitting? Nope!
When we think about what most hitters did, we are more likely to use words like guessed or hoped or anticipated or maybe even prayed. None of those words scream confidence do they?
And that is the problem. Too many hitters think that guessing or anticipating is the key to being a good hitter. In the battle between pitcher and hitter, unfortunately, the better the pitcher the more difficult it is to guess right and the more a hitter anticipates what the pitch will be, the more likely it is that the pitcher will win the battle of wits.
Hitters need to work harder at reacting to what the pitcher really throws, rather than trying to outsmart or outguess the pitcher. And this only happens when the training that a hitter undergoes stresses the skills that are required to allow a hitter to react to the pitch without anticipating it.
Getting ready to hit early, getting the body loaded and ready to unload, getting the front foot down, developing the bat speed needed to match the speed of the pitcher and working on the visual skills required to track the ball well are all things that really good hitters develop. It takes a great deal of work to become a hitter who reacts rather than a hitter who guesses but the benefits are amazing.
When a hitter cannot be fooled they become…foolproof!