Pulling the trigger

At times I feel I have entered the world of the surreal with the sport of baseball.  I was watching a scrimmage last week and my son was batting lead off.  Pitch one, great pitchers pitch touched the black on the outside, would not have wanted him to swing so we are good.  Pitch two was just below the belt, three inches outside middle...he watched strike two.  Last year that would have been a double to the gap in right center.  After the game he brought it up immediately saying..."I have no idea what happened on that first ab...I saw it, I was ready to swing and then... I just couldn't".  I just reassured him as best I could that it was an anomaly.  Baseball is such a mind game and I will not say another word to him about it, but if it does happen again and he asks I would like to have some cohesive thoughts.

Has anyone encountered this in their, or their sons experience.  I could laugh it off as early season but I could sensed he was really confused by the experience. So question one is have you experienced it, and question two would be did you do anything mentally or physically that you felt helped.   

Original Post

Just my opinion, but I think pulling the trigger and approach go hand and hand. Approach tracks both the situation and the hitter's strengths. Depending on the situation, hitter can isolate his zone, look for his pitch to hit, and swing when he gets it. Until he has two strikes on him.  After two strikes, he has to expand the zone, but within reason, to give him the best chance of getting on base and not K looking.

Again, I'm just a dad and never coached above the 12U level, but that's what I've heard hitting coaches teach for years.

 

Curious, does he usually bat leadoff?  There are a few spots in the lineup that typically require a different approach/mindset and, of course, leadoff is the most prominent.  

Aside from that, yes, it certainly happens where a hitter is just frozen in a situation where he usually pulls the trigger.  

Hitters work on a thousand different things, mechanically and mentally, and then are asked to narrow that to just one thought when they step in the box in a game.  On top of that, the situation changes every pitch.  It is, IMO, impossible for a hitter to be able to successfully accomplish that "one thought" process 100% of the time.  Once in a while, another thought will creep in and cause lost focus.  This can result in the "freeze".   Strive for success 100% of the time on proper mental approach - accept 99%.  When that one happens, know it's done and move on to the next.

justbaseball posted:

I have reached a point where I mostly just listen in conversations like this.  I don't offer solutions very often.  I may ask a question or two back to get a thought process going, but I don't offer much advice.

I'd like to nominate this as the most useless post this board has EVER had...and that's saying something!

*****said in complete jest********

cabbagedad posted:

Curious, does he usually bat leadoff?  There are a few spots in the lineup that typically require a different approach/mindset and, of course, leadoff is the most prominent.  

Aside from that, yes, it certainly happens where a hitter is just frozen in a situation where he usually pulls the trigger.  

Hitters work on a thousand different things, mechanically and mentally, and then are asked to narrow that to just one thought when they step in the box in a game.  On top of that, the situation changes every pitch.  It is, IMO, impossible for a hitter to be able to successfully accomplish that "one thought" process 100% of the time.  Once in a while, another thought will creep in and cause lost focus.  This can result in the "freeze".   Strive for success 100% of the time on proper mental approach - accept 99%.  When that one happens, know it's done and move on to the next.

^^^^^^^^^This.  Concur 100% with cabbagedad.  Watched son do similarly on 1,2,3 strikes early last year.  It was with out a doubt the highest velo he had seen to that point, but I swear I don't think he moved except to track the pitch.  He felt weird, stupid, confused afterward and I hope to never see it again, but probably will.

CaCO3Girl posted:

What happened in the at bat?  You covered strikes 1 and 2....AND THEN?

I never like to speak poorly of the boys in blue but it appeared sitting directly behind home plate that wind shear must have caused the ball to be in the middle of the 1st base batters box and then somehow return to the strike zone in time for the call...struck out looking.  I can live with that, it happens and I would have been concerned if he had swung at that one, expanding the zone 3" off the plate with 2 strikes to protect is good, chasing a pitch out there is just not a good idea. 

In fairness though it was very windy and the ump was consistent for the 3 innings he spent behind the plate.  

My sons plate discipline has always been excellent, .487 avg, 14 walks 2K's as a junior.   The issue was the bewildered look on his face like his hands (or in reality his brain) had somehow betrayed him...

Likely not a big deal but I don't want a Knoblauck issue

cabbagedad posted:

Curious, does he usually bat leadoff?  There are a few spots in the lineup that typically require a different approach/mindset and, of course, leadoff is the most prominent.  

Aside from that, yes, it certainly happens where a hitter is just frozen in a situation where he usually pulls the trigger.  

Hitters work on a thousand different things, mechanically and mentally, and then are asked to narrow that to just one thought when they step in the box in a game.  On top of that, the situation changes every pitch.  It is, IMO, impossible for a hitter to be able to successfully accomplish that "one thought" process 100% of the time.  Once in a while, another thought will creep in and cause lost focus.  This can result in the "freeze".   Strive for success 100% of the time on proper mental approach - accept 99%.  When that one happens, know it's done and move on to the next.

Cabbage,

Yes he has been a three year leadoff in HS, in club he is leadoff, or 3 depending on the make-up of the squad. 

I appreciate the insight, that is what I believe too and that was the reassurance I provided, just wanted to make sure I covered the proverbial bases.

Thanks!

CatsPop posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Curious, does he usually bat leadoff?  There are a few spots in the lineup that typically require a different approach/mindset and, of course, leadoff is the most prominent.  

Aside from that, yes, it certainly happens where a hitter is just frozen in a situation where he usually pulls the trigger.  

Hitters work on a thousand different things, mechanically and mentally, and then are asked to narrow that to just one thought when they step in the box in a game.  On top of that, the situation changes every pitch.  It is, IMO, impossible for a hitter to be able to successfully accomplish that "one thought" process 100% of the time.  Once in a while, another thought will creep in and cause lost focus.  This can result in the "freeze".   Strive for success 100% of the time on proper mental approach - accept 99%.  When that one happens, know it's done and move on to the next.

^^^^^^^^^This.  Concur 100% with cabbagedad.  Watched son do similarly on 1,2,3 strikes early last year.  It was with out a doubt the highest velo he had seen to that point, but I swear I don't think he moved except to track the pitch.  He felt weird, stupid, confused afterward and I hope to never see it again, but probably will.

Thanks, appreciate the insight...

My son has been in this situation before. In fact he's a leadoff hitter and he's scuffling right now. Like Tres_A, I'm just a dad, but my thought has always been "do what you need to do to reach the same level of comfort you had with your swing and your approach when you were at  your best." In other words, "get your bucket and your tee and get in the cage."

My general observation, and my 2017 son likes to tell me this: it's harder than it looks in the stands. Or something to that effect. We've all seen our son's chase a first-pitch CB (or one drops in), lay-off a fat second pitch FB, and get in a deep hole and chase (or worse...look at strike 3). All part of the game. Pros do the same thing from time-to-time.

I suppose the key is whether this is anomaly, a trend, or a consistent approach/result. If the latter, he won't be lead-off for long. Hope it is the former and he's back to getting on base soon.

A MLB scout once told us that you have to have what he called a yes-yes-yes - no approach rather than a no-no-no-yes approach.

As I understood him,  he meant that on each pitch you are looking to do damage as a default, holding up only when the pitch reveals itself as NOT hammerable.

 A no-no-no-yes approach would I guess be the opposite,  it's like "show me that you are hittable, pitch.  But until you show me,  I'm laying off."   (although with a pitcher that cant find the strike zone....)

He says you should be poised to pull the trigger and have to make yourself lay off,  rather than being  poised to lay off and then having to make yourself pull the trigger. 

 

justbaseball posted:

I have reached a point where I mostly just listen in conversations like this.  I don't offer solutions very often.  I may ask a question or two back to get a thought process going, but I don't offer much advice.

I mean, that observation is brilliant. 

We could observe Pete Rose or Babe Ruth or Mike Trout doing the EXACT same thing and draw the EXACT same conclusion as what is being discussed here.  I'll take justbb's advice one step further - chill out people, chill out.

MDBallDad posted:
2022NYC posted:

Did have another AB in the game? 

4 PA 2 AB, 1 for 2 with a single the other PA's were a walk and a sac bunt

So what's the problem? He was off his game one at bat. Sure, he could have had a better mental approach in the failed at bat. But, it's one at bat. 

RJM posted

So what's the problem?...., it's one at bat. 

RJM,

Now that you broke the ice, yeah, that was my first thought as well.

One step further: If batters didn't screw up a LOT, then the games would last way too long.

That's how I console myself in the 3B coaching box.

 

 

 

 

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