There are many things that can cause problem in a baseball team. One of them is the constant use of negative directives. This could be among the worst things that coaches can do to their team. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest things to fix. With enough effort, baseball coaches should be able to change the bad habit. It is important for coaches to understand what is a negative directive. As an example, a coach may say to a player, “Whatever you do, you shouldn’t throw the ball down the middle”. Coach may also say, “don’t swing the bat at the high pitch”. We should avoid these negative directives at all costs. We should be able to obtain better results by asking the player to do something using positive directive. Instead of telling players what we don’t want them to do, we should ask them what they should do.
Coaches may tell players not to strike out. This directive will stick in player’s head for a long time. The words “strike out” will remain in his thought for the duration of the training session or the match. This could cause players to put themselves nearer to the failure and players’ confidence could diminish. Instead of telling players not to swing the bat at a high pitch, we need to tell the player to swing only at pitches, especially if the pitches are in the strike zone. This is a clear instructional message and players will have a better sense of purpose on doing something. Players could become more positive and affirmative. They know what they are looking for. Also we could tell players to work the edges of the plate, instead of forbidding them to throw the ball down the middle of the plate.
This simple change can make significant differences in the mind of our athletes. By putting positive, instructional messages to the mind of players, they can become more positive themselves. This will breed better confidence. Another problem is that coaches want players to change their swing. This could happen when coaches can’t resist the urge of trying to micro-manage and teach the entire team about a brand new method to swing. If all hitters are expected to hit with uniform method, we could actually start to see some inconsistencies and even reduced productivity. This is something that we need to avoid. Hitting requires a complex mechanic and this is a complicated issue that we need to consider.
In many cases, hitting is a topic that shouldn’t be over-coached. This is a matter of preference and some players could actually get better results with their unique ways of hitting something. Young players should know how to effectively swing their bats. There are many small fundamentals related to good hitting. Forcing the whole team to adopt a hitting style can actually be a wring thing to do. In fact, we may only get a terrible result. It will take thousand of swings to change the natural form of a player.