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Sports Psychology, Baseball And The Psychology Of Hitting

Posted by: Dr. Granat on May 10, 2007

This time of the year I counsel lots of baseball players. Usually, they come to


see me about problems with hitting or pitching. Occasionally, I do get calls from

baseball players who report “choking” when they have to make an accurate

throw. I have seen this problem with catchers and with infielders.

Recently, however, I discovered a rather interesting and very useful

statistic pertaining to hitting. Apparently, many fine hitters get a high numbers of

pitches when they come up to the plate. One fine American League hitter averages

more than nine pitches every time he steps into the batter’s box.

Why is this statistic important?

A hitter who is getting a lot of pitches is tenacious. In addition, he knows how

to bat in an intelligent manner when he is ahead or behind in the count. He works

the pitcher effectively, because he knows the strike zone very well. A hitter who

knows how to be patient and selective and who knows how to foul off a lot of

balls tends to be a very tough out.

Also, a batter who sees a lot of pitches from the same pitcher begins to

get familiar with pitchers stuff. They can start to read the pitches and

anticipate the break, action and movement of the ball with greater confidence.

Once he batter zones in the pitchers speed, tempo and ball movement, he can be

a very dangerous hitter.

Furthermore, a hitter who has these kinds of psychological and physical skills

is well-suited to batting in the leadoff position, since he is likely to get on base

often and tire a lot of pitches out.

I encourage a lot of the baseball hitters I work with to read Ted Williams’

book on hitting. Ted Williams recognized the importance of knowing the strike

zone very well.

In short, if you want to bat in the zone, you need to know strike zone.

You also need to know what kind of pitch and which pitch location are your
personal favorites.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D, is a Psychotherapist and the Founder of
He can be reached at 888 580-ZONE

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