Human Nature is our enemy. We have discussed this several times already and we will, undoubtedly, discuss it many more times. Human Nature wants us to blend in, to stay comfortable, to stay in our lane and to keep doing what we are doing.
This is great if you are totally satisfied with where you are. If you are happy where you are and see no reason to try to make improvements, then Human Nature is your friend. You’ll be perfectly happy staying in the rut you are in.
We are always asking our players to get uncomfortable. To push themselves past where they are to accomplish something new and greater than what they have accomplished in the past. This process of pushing outside of your comfort zone is crucial to growing as a player or in any other area of your life.
We have been making a major push to help some of our more advanced hitters increase their bat speed. Some of that growth is technical. Some of it is adding strength. But the most important factor is my opinion is a mental road block.
We are constantly reminding our hitters that when they get outside their comfort zone they are going to make mistakes. They are going to miss.
To really see increases in bat speed they have to accept the fact that they are going to feel a loss of control, for a while, and that it is OK to miss, for a while, before they regain control of their new and improved bat speed.
Here is where our understanding of Human Nature is so important. We are not comfortable feeling out of control so we unconsciously slow down to regain control. We are working on improving bat speed but because we are afraid of missing the ball we hold back a little bit to make sure we make contact. We poke at the ball rather than crushing it. Players have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
It’s OK to miss, just miss fast!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.