The power of visualization for getting a hit
Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you improve your performance. When you imagine yourself successfully executing the task at hand, and when you do this repeatedly, it will increase the likelihood of success when it’s time to perform in real life. This is because visualization allows us to practice with all our senses—sight, smell and touch—in addition to hearing and feeling as opposed to simply reading or listening about an activity.
To learn how visualization works for hitting a baseball, read on!
Visualize success in your mind before your step up to the plate
Visualizing success in your mind before you step up to the plate will prepare you to succeed. Visualization is a technique that helps athletes relax, focus on the task at hand, and overcome fear, anxiety, nervousness and self-doubt.
When it’s time for your turn at bat or when you’re pitching in a game of softball or baseball—or any sport for that matter—the key is being able to visualize what it will be like to hit that screaming double in the gap, hitting a home run over the left center field wall, or hitting that line drive over the shortstop’s head.
Feel the emotions of success in your mind before it ever happens
The emotions of success are often the most powerful driving force behind the things that you do. When you feel the emotions of success (i.e., confidence and excitement) in your mind before it ever happens, you are much more likely to succeed.
So one way to practice this is at night when you’re laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Instead of thinking about how tired or bored or anxious or whatever else might be keeping you awake, visualize yourself standing in the batters box and start the progression of your at bat – ultimately, that leads to getting a hit. Feel those positive emotions of standing on first, second, or having hit that home run!
Visualize every step of your at bat – the pitcher, the type of pitch, your stride, your swing, making contact, seeing the ball take off, and you ultimately standing on first with a hit
The best hitters in the majors are visualizing their every step of an at bat before stepping up to the plate. They start with what pitch they think the pitcher will throw and then visualize themselves hitting it well. Next, they visualize their stride and swing as they step into each pitch. Then, they make contact with the ball, visualize where the ball goes, and feel the surge of energy and confidence you feel after getting a hit.
This process doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming – just take a few moments during the day or before games when you’re alone, close your eyes and imagine yourself getting a hit every single time. Your mind will absorb this new information and store it so that when you get up there later on in real life, your body will act accordingly without even needing any conscious thought from yourself (that’s how powerful visualization can be).
Practice the mental visualization in bed at night
Visualization is one of the most important mental skills you can develop as a hitter. It allows you to “see” yourself succeeding in your head so that when it comes time to step up to the plate, there’s no doubt in your mind that you can get the job done.
It’s easy enough to do this on a small scale in your mind first, which is why before you ever are able to succeed on a high-level, you’ve got to first see yourself doing it in your mind. All the greats from Michael Jordan to Tom Brady to Hank Aaron all employed visualization techniques outside of the sport itself.
To do this effectively:
- Visualize the exact event at least 4-5 times before going to sleep every night
- Rehearse the whole progression of events as they would happen during real play (e.g., stepping into box; taking batting stance; looking at pitcher’s hand/ball; tracking ball into zone) while focusing on how much confidence it gives you when you succeed.
Practicing visualization is just as important as practicing the physical act of hitting
- Visualization is just as important as the physical act of hitting.
- It’s hard to be successful at something if you don’t first see yourself doing it in your mind. This applies to hitting a baseball as well as anything else, including singing, dancing, and playing video games. If you really want to get good at anything that requires skill, then you need to practice visualization.