“Focus like a laser, not a flashlight” – Michael Jordan
While he may not have been the greatest pro baseball player, his will to win was at a all time high. His mindset changed the way he approached the game, check out his “I Can’t Accept Not Trying” book here:
Many people underestimate the focus and confidence needed during an at-bat in MLB The Show 17 . When batting on the higher difficulties the strike-zone becomes a game of inches. You want to be in the game, literally predicting and on top of every pitch.
They say hitting is the hardest thing to do in any sport. When you see a fastball ask yourself, does it have late movement? Can you sit fastball and adjust to his off-speed pitches? Hell, did you even see the pitch? Think of the pitcher as a puzzle and every pitch gives you more information on how to figure him out. You need to pay attention to the slightest details, does his delivery slow down when throwing a breaking ball? Does his change-up drop at the plate? If he’s ahead is he fooling you? If so, then how?
The point is, you need to be actively thinking as a hitter, and while your compounding all these mumbled thoughts you need to have a plan at the plate. They say without a plan then your bound to fail. In a sport where the best only succeed on average 30% of the time, you have plenty of room for error to still be considered one of the best. So where do we start?
SEEING THE BALL
You cannot do anything until your seeing the ball. No plan, no strategy, no consistent solid contact can be made until we are seeing the ball from the release point. This is where our focus begins, I’ve made an article on seeing the ball and taking the first pitch, you can check it our here.
You literally need to take your right hand off the damn controller and just focus on that release point. Don’t be too worried if its a ball or a strike if this is your first time seeing the pitcher. The goal here is you want to be soooooooo focused, the release appears to be in slow motion.
Once your seeing the ball. You can come up with a plan. Your plan switches pitch by pitch, always evolving based on factors in the game. Pay attention to how is the defense shifted, ask yourself is my runner putting pressure on the pitcher? Has the pitcher been throwing wild pitches? Where do I like the ball? Am I waiting for my pitch or chasing his? Ask yourself question on top of question and come up with best guess answers before the delivery animation. But during the delivery, you need to be calm. No, I understated that, you need to be ice cold calm, best sex ever cuddle calm, I did my homework last night and the teacher is collecting it calm… Because when your calm you can relax. And when you’re relaxed you can see the ball and focus.
So once you get calm, you need to envision the pitch you would like to hit. See it coming from the release point to the glove. Think of it’s speed and movement, see it in your mind and stay relaxed.
If the pitcher throws a pitch that’s nothing like the one you just envisioned, then don’t swing. ( Unless you have two strikes. )
KEEPING FOCUS WITH TWO STRIKES
One of the biggest mistakes that players make is losing focus when the pitcher is up on them. Players swing at everything, pitches in the dirt, pitches way inside/outside. This is the time that your focus needs to be at all time high. At this point you know the pitchers release and at-least one of his pitches so keep calm.
Remember MLB The Show 17 has a guess pitch feature. If you struggle seeing a location, proper use of the guess pitch feature will take care of this problem for you. I recommend using classic 1/4/th and only guessing location. In Road to the Show mode, you also have access to showtime and your perks. I say that to say, MLB the show 17 has tools that make batting with two strikes less stressful, remain calm and use these tools when the situation calls for it.
Now throw this all together, and remember that focusing and planning are the two most important things you can do at the plate.