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Bobby Tewksbary: Hitting Guru

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  • #31
    How about fear of failure.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by rdbass View Post
      How about fear of failure.
      Absolutely. In baseball you're on an island, might be able to hide in some other sports.
      Major Figure

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      • #33
        Type 1 fear of failure is fear of letting down yourself down. It's the type that would degrade your game-performance on a showcase team, where you're playing for the name on the back of your jersey. This type of individual pressure is inferior at helping the player be all that he can be.

        Type 2 fear of failure is the fear of letting your teammates down. While it can cut both ways (it can degrade or inspire game-performance, depending primarily on team chemistry), in any event fear of letting your teammates down when you're playing for the name on the front of your jersey is a prime source of growth as a person and an athlete. It's the kind of pressure that can turn coal into diamonds.
        Last edited by skipper5; 10-22-2019, 01:50 PM.
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        • #34
          Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
          Last year, when our 9-hitter began the season 0-for-22, I realized that he almost always started out behind in the count because pitchers were starting him off with quality strikes away, often low and away. It was a random period of inexplicable, bizarre bad luck.

          I wonder if he went to his hitting instructor for mechanical adjustments to cure his "slump"?

          Just reiterating my point that it's impossible for instructors to have their boots on the ground at the games in order to see what's really going on.
          I guess a relevant question for the hitting instructor is "what aspects of the swing should I work on?" Mechanics are part of it and probably the easiest to tweak and say there you go, you'll be hitting homers in no time. But equally important is approach -not just guessing a pitch based on situation and count, but where is the hitter strong and weak. Ted Williams had a nice pic of his BA throughout the strike zone. Some hitters can mash low and away, some reflexively turn on high and tight for a rip down the 3b line. Part of being aggressive at the plate means looking for your pitch -the one you can mash. As a hitter, if you're getting consistently beat on a pitch, best to work on that. So part of that conversation with the instructor (or coach) and the hitter, is to convey where the in-game struggles are.

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          • #35
            I think what hitting instructors try too hard is make a grand change in the hitter's overall style to fit their narrative/philospphy. I watch as many games as I can for the players I watch and observe. I keep things simple and do little changes like hand placement or strides. After that, it's about mentality at the plate and knowing what to hit and what they can't hit.I notice any trends that I can pick up with my eyes and video tapes to review with them to then use in their upcoming at bats. I don't want them overthinking, but knowing how much they might have missed something and are about to face them again, it usually leads to a breakthrough.

            I wish all hitters hit like Barry Bonds, but that's not happening. Best thing is work on what's broken and improve what's not to have a complete hitter. That's why we will have weird looking hitters like Ryan Zimmerman and Nolan Arenado, but they get the job done against top tier pitching.

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            • #36
              He says this because he is giving up. He knows he hasn't found the secret to the swing and is starting to think he never will. He thought he was onto something when he noticed that the better hitters get into certain positions that the others don't, but then you still have to find out how to get someone to achieve those movements and positions, and he's not able to do that. So now his story is that great hitters are born and not made. I disagree. A great swing is simply front arm dominant. And to make that change is actually really simple.

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              • #37
                You can teach a good swing but the swing is maybe 30% of a hitters performance (It is very important but so is strength, timing, decision making, batspeed, mental strength and other stuff). The other stuff can be improved and trained too but probably only to a degree.

                if you watch the successful swing change guys like Murphy, Turner, Donaldson most of them could already hit but lacked power because they couldn't hit hard balls into the air. Turning a 280 hitter who hits everything hard into the ground into a power hitter by optimizing his swing plane is not super easy but not super tough either if there is some raw power in there.

                but turning a . 190 hitter who strikes out 35% of his plate appearances into a legitimate hitter is almost impossible even for a "guru".
                I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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