I won't say it is a pandemic but it is a problem. I am seeing a lot of hitters taking forever to make the changes in their swing that are needed. Why is this? Some of these things are not that hard where some are very difficult.
I learned a long time ago that it takes thousands of reps to change anything in athletics and since hitting is so difficult then we have to assume that it might even take more in hitting than other athletic skills.
So, here are the steps we need to take to change something as a hitter:
Determine an issue. We can determine an issue ourselves or from our coaches or instructors. Let's use the example of dropping our hands early in our swing.
Change our Habit. So, it is all about changing a habit or, to be more specific, replacing a bad habit with a good habit. Experts have researched how long or how many reps it takes to change a habit it does depend on the skill. So, for example, how we set up in our stance would be easier to change than our bat path. These experts have determined it can take from 18 to 254 days to change a habit or from 50 reps to 10,000 reps. Again, depending on what you are trying to change. Remember, we aren't just learning how to do it in practice we have to change the habit so that when the competition becomes tough we don't revert back to our old swing. I say all the time, it has to become part of our "DNA'. This does take thousands of reps.
Focus. It is really difficult to change a habit when you aren't thinking about it. Your muscle memory needs to know that you are working on this action to make it become your new swing. Focus on the correct swing every single time for thousands of reps. Just hitting is not going to get it done. The
re has to be an exact purpose of your work. It has to be intentional!
This brings me to the title, "Win the Drill".
I am seeing too many hitters struggle with either making the adjustment or maintaining the adjustment in their swing. I believe they are just focusing on hitting the ball and therefore they forget about what they are doing in the drill. Again, we need to focus on the skill in order to change it and if we are focusing on the ball we actually don't change anything and revert back to our past "DNA" swing.
I am using the phrase, "Win the Drill" instead of winning the hit. Be successful with the swing and not focused on hitting the ball well. The more we "win the drill" the more likely our swing will make the necessary changes and become our new DNA.I say, "other girls are now sitting at home watching TV while you are getting better!".
Be patient, when you win the drill every swing and you change your swing DNA, you will start to see positive improvements!