Batting against a 2-stike count is no fun.
Striking out and feeling like you’ve let your team, coaches, and family down is even worse.
At D-BAT – the premier baseball academies in the United States – our goal is not only to improve our players’ swing and fielding, but to also educate our players on the mental side of the game.
When our players find themselves batting against a 2-stike count, D-BAT offers these 5 tips to help them get back in the game:
1. A Foul Keeps You Swinging
In his former life, Cade Griffis – founder of D-BAT Sports - was a scout for the Chicago White Sox and a player for the
Kansas City Royals. One trick he learned from Royals great George Brett is to swing hard and foul if necessary. Many times, finessing a ball into fair play can translate to a weak ground hit vs. just swinging hard and driving it foul, then waiting for your ideal pitch in the count.
2. Swing Hard Every Time
While it’s easy to get nervous and choke up on the bat or change your stance, don’t be. Be aggressive with every hit, swinging hard at the ball – and through the ball – each time you swing. If not, you run the risk of hitting a weak grounder.
3. Rethink a Strikeout
As Griffis explains in his baseball training sessions, an out is an out: “I don’t judge a kid (any worse) who goes 1-for-3 and strikes out twice. It’s the same thing if he goes 1-for-3 and hits two weak ground balls to the pitcher. An out is an out. I think we create outs because we put too much emphasis on the stikeout, and we get them out of their comfort zone.”
4. Get Ahead in the Count
The best way to get ahead in the count is to be focused from the moment you step into the batters box. Watching each and every good ball and making solid contact will remove the burden of a 2-stike count.
5. Listen for Clues
Sometimes coaches give clues as to what type of pitch they want their pitcher to throw. “Be smart” normally means to throw it away. Something like, “nothing to lose,” generally means through a strike.