Running Scared of Getting Hit as a drill accomplishes two important goals. First, it teaches athletes the correct way of getting hit by a pitch. Like it or not, all athletes are going to get hit. How an athlete reacts determines the amount of damage: drop, turn, tuck. Secondly, Scared of Getting Hit can be run to assist an athlete that is focused on being hit while up at bat. That athlete that is most concerned with NOT getting hit, has little chance of making consistent contact. Use the principles here to change that athletes approach to a swing-first mentality!
EXECUTION – Using tennis balls, first teach your athlete how to get hit. Give each athlete ample reps to experience being hit the correct way. Interestingly enough, there is a fundamental technique to being hit by a pitch:
- Drop – Drop the barrel to avoid foul balls
- Turn – Turn the back to protect vital organs and “take it”
- Tuck – Tuck the chin to protect the face.
Next, move to wiffle balls and predictably alternate between hitting the athlete and throwing strikes. The athlete will slowly transition his focus to aggressively swinging. This takes time, especially for the athlete that is legitimately scared of being hit. Finish the drill by randomly throwing wiffle balls – in the strike zone or at the batter. The primary goal of this progression from teach, to predictable, to random is to transition the athlete mind from thinking “oh shoot, oh shoot… swing” to “swing, swing… oh shoot“. Athletes must hit with a swing-first mentality, and sometimes that must be nurtured.
- Teach Getting Hit – Use technique to help athlete realize getting hit hurts, but is not life threatening.
- Predictably Alternate – Execute a swing, get hit, swing, get hit. Increase comfort switching between the two actions, and introduce the reactiongoal.
- Peg Coach – “Wearing one” correctly earns athlete a toss at coach.
- DROP (barrel)
- TURN (back)
- TUCK (chin)
- TEACH GETTING HIT FIRST
- PREDICTABLY ALTERNATE
- RANDOM - COACH A SWING-FIRST MENTALITY
- GET HIT CORRECTLY = PEG COACH
- Wiffle Ball10
- Tennis Balls10