So many players are thinking of too many things during an at bat. Let me break it down for you from the dugout, to the on deck circle, to in between pitches, to an actual swing thought. This article is not for pro hitters who should already be doing most of this anyway. It's also for players that don't have exit speeds over 95 mph which also is most pro hitters. So that being said let's talk swing thoughts.
Dugout: Watch batters throughout the game and see any tendencies, is the pitcher throwing in or out is he pitching off speed when he is ahead or early. If you aren't sure where the pitch locations are go ask the hitters what they are seeing.
On deck circle: Get timing is number 1, never think about timing when you are actually up trying to hit.
In between pitches: Look at the count it will usually dictate what the pitcher is trying to do are you ahead or behind (see the Hitting Counts article) and it will be much easier to hit off the pitcher. 0-0 he is trying to get ahead with a strike usually a fastball unless you have seen from the DUGOUT phase he is throwing off speed in these counts
Swing Thought: You are trying to compete so thinking about too many things will only make it harder. Let's keep it simple. Once the pitch has left his hand and you are swinging I'm only thinking of taking my hands and barrel straight out through the top half of the ball. Yes I said straight out and yes I said top half.
Straight out is still an initial downward swing, I hear too many people say swing down on the ball well think about it the ball is below my hands to start so why do I need to go down first all that will do is make me get under the ball more. Which if you have noticed is where all hitters miss on the fastball when they foul the ball off. I found that when I focused on keeping my hands and barrel over the ball my contact and power went way up. By thinking straight out to the ball my swing became shorter and kept me from getting under the ball so much. The top half of the ball was my focus and rarely did I ever hit that part. It is mostly adjusting to stay over the baseball. If you are finding you are hitting too many ground balls well good for you your sights are set perfectly then just move your sights to hitting the middle of the ball.
So do your job and put thoughts into your at bats before you actually get up there and when you are up there keep it simple so you will have more fun competing.
Next article will be about hitting adjustments....