Quality AB criteria
1) Routines Night Before Game: Autogenic Relaxation Audio bed at same time every night. Pack night before. Yoga mat to sleep.
2) Day Routines: 10 Rules of Recovery: Try and wake at same time every morning. Yoga Flow Routine. Classical Music
3) Treat every day and night the same whether you have a game or not, that way we don’t make games too important. It is just another opportunity to learn and improve.
4) Day of if you aren’t in the lineup:
- Use BP and Inf/Of as your game. Use notebook to track execution
- Time up Pitcher before game.
- Pick a spot in the lineup to go through your at bat routines
- Do a chart
- Warm up the pitcher in between innings, corner OF
- Make sure you pick up defenders with their hat and glove
5) If you are in the lineup
- Make sure you have a designated spot for all your equipment
- Time up pitcher during his warm ups
- Cycle of Success: up 5th get all your equipment, up 4th breath and visualize, up 3rd time up pitcher, on deck play the at bat with the guy in front of you, up to bat walk to plate with big body language, get your sign, before you get in box “Big breath in through nose, exhale release and say “relax”, step in box “in box” routine, if nothing happens rinse and repeat.
- After at bat, use a release of some sort, can also journal your at bat. Once the helmet and batting gloves come off, it is time to get ready to play defense. Both sides of the ball are equally important.
- Defense, know what you are going to do with the ball before it is pitched each and every pitch. Prep step routines every pitch, Same thing before every pitch big breath, exhale release and say “relax”.
6) Offensive Approach Goals
- Nobody on base: See how many line drives you can hit off the pitchers forehead
- One drag or push bunt in fair territory each game, 1-1 count is a great count to try on and assume it will be a breaking ball. Great count to try it on because you have a chance of getting a hit on a breaking ball or seeing it longer and taking it for a ball so you can hit in a 2-1 count.
- Runner at 1B no outs, drag bunt for hit and will at least get a SAC bunt out of it.
- Runner on 1B 1 out, trying to hit in the 4 hole to get runner from 1st to 3rd. Also have a bigger hole to hit into with 1B holding runner
- Runner at 2b no outs, drag bunt or groundball to 2B if you are swinging away to move the runner
- Runner at 2B 1 out, base hit up the middle to score runner
- Runner at 3B No outs or 1 out, infield back gball to 2B, infield in Line drive off the pitchers forehead.
7) Defensive Goals
- Field every routine groundball and throw through your target. Know what you are going to do with every ball pitched.
8) Baserunning Goals
- Put pressure on the defense
- Move up 90 feet every opportunity on ball in dirt reads, stealing or advancing on errant throws
9) Be into the game and be a great teammate.
10) You are a freshman, be the role player that your team needs you to be, if you are not in the lineup, then be the best bench guy. You can positively affect the game even if you aren’t playing by being into the game and picking up your teammates & pitcher and opponent tendencies.
11) If you are in the lineup, be the best role player you can be and be a pain in the ass to the opponent with your offensive and defensive execution
12) ABOVE ALL ELSE “F IT’ AND GO OUT AND HAVE FUN AT THE BALL PARK. BREATH INTO IT AND SAY “RELAX” IF YOU GET UNCOMFORTABLE. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. ANXIETY AND EXCITEMENT COME FROM THE SAME PLAY SO JUST KNOW THAT IT IS YOUR BODY’S PREPARATION FOR SOMETHING GREAT!!!!
This article comes from a place of winning, development and love. I come from a place where it is okay and healthy to argue about baseball. I am in the twitterverse as much as anybody. I love what twitter brings to the table as long as you are okay that even if we disagree, we hug it out at the end and go our own way.
Ryan is the Assistant Executive Director with the ABCA and oversees member engagement, coaching outreach, the ABCA Podcast, Barnstormers, ABCA Updates, ABCA Committees: Diversity, Youth, Travel & High School, Convention Youth Stage, Convention Hot Stoves: Diversity, Rookie, Infield, Baserunning & Pitching, and MY ABCA Forum. He coached Division I for 22 years, including as an assistant coach for 15 Years at Evansville, James Madison, and Iowa. Ryan also was the head coach at Western Illinois for 7 years.