My son has played baseball for several years. As he gets older his hitting does not seem to be improving. I take him to the batting cages and he does very well. He is currently on his high school team and does well at practice. When he gets up to the plate, it seems like he freezes. He either walks or stikes out both swinging and looking. His first scrimmage game he got 2 hits. When the real games start he seems to struggle. As a result he has not been starting the games and only goes in as a sub which I think puts more pressure on him. He has talked to his coach about getting more playing time to help him get more up at bats and basically the coach told him that he could not promise anything and that he needed to just get up there and do his job when asked to. I think his struggling is fear of disappointment, to us and his coach. How can I help him get over this fear or to gain more confidence in himself?
Let’s make sure of one thing first off the bat does he have good mechanical skills and does he batting practice pitching, tee work, soft toss work well and consistently. My guess is you’re going to answer yes then I have to agree 100% that it’s all mental. What your boys doing is he thinking way too much and not just seeing the ball and hitting it. I don’t know if you have control on are not but if I was his coach and I saw these things I would start to correct it by telling him that he has to hit the next pitch no matter what and if there are runners on base and we can collect hit-and-run, but in reality what were trying to do is take the decision-making out of his hands and make him swing at the next pitch the matter where it is. You will actually need to do this for an entire game and yes he may swing at some bad pitches anyway make an easy out or two but he will swing the bat he will make contact I promise you that. It’s a very odd thing when you take away the decision-making, batter that actually is pretty decent they almost always get the ball the matter where it is in the strike zone out of the strike zone it doesn’t make a difference they will make contact because their swing is good and they’re not deciding if I should or shouldn’t swing they know that already so they’re just trying to get the ball and they will. Now if you can’t do that a game because you don’t have the control and what you need to do is go in the cage and tell him swing of this one no matter what don’t swing at this one no matter what and start to take away the decision-making. You’re just trying to get him comfortable with looking at the ball coming at him and swinging at it not whether it’s a ball or strike not whether it’s a curve or fastball just see the ball and hit. You will be amazed at how effective that is.