How To Overcome A Fear Of The Baseball
- Updated: August 15, 2012
First of all, please realize that if you have a fear of the baseball, you are not alone. Just the opposite is true. In fact, almost all baseball hitters at every level have a fear of the baseball to one extent or the other. True, the amount of fear does vary significantly.
You may have possibly gotten hit by a pitch and it may have been a very painful experience and given you a very unpleasant lasting memory. Getting hit by a pitched ball can be outright disheartening and scary and you have every right in the world to be fearful. I’ve seen entire ball parks become silent, upsetting everyone in attendance. Suddenly, nobody cares about the score of the game or which team the player was on.
If you have had a devastating experience like this, it will take some time for you to have that fear fade away. The best cure in the world is many, many at bats. The more at bats you have without going through this painful experience again is the best cure and you should be able to get your fear under much better control.
Baseball Coaching Drills That Should Be Helpful:
1. Open up your stance and turn your head more toward the pitcher. It seems a little ironic to recommend turning more toward the pitcher if you already have a fear of the baseball. But what happens is that you will see the ball much better. And just seeing the ball better will give you much more confidence that you can get out of the way of the pitch if you have to.
2. Make sure your front shoulder and front arm are not too high so you have a very good view of the baseball. Some younger players in particular, have a tendency to take a peek at the baseball over their front arm or shoulder. Make sure your view of the pitch is completely unobstructed!
3. With younger players especially, pitch to them with a tennis or a plastic ball and occasionally throw the ball right at them. Watch and enjoy as their confidence grows when they come to realize they can safely get out of the way of the ball. This is one of the best baseball coaching drills that can be used to help a player, especially a younger one.
4. And remember the safest way to get out of the way from an inside pitch. Why some coaches start teaching players other baseball hitting tips before teaching this remains a mystery to me. Tuck your chin in against your chest, bend at the waist and make a quarter turn toward the catcher. Think of it as if you are going to have a nose to nose argument with the catcher. This will protect your head and face, chest, stomach and groin area. You are much better off getting hit in the upper, middle or lower part of the back or the rear end than getting hit in the front of your body.
I wish you the best of luck and remember you are not alone so don’t be too rough on yourself.
P.S. When I was 13 years old, I got hit by a pitch from a 15 year old flame thrower. This guy Sal, was two years older than me and threw exceptionally hard. I was a right-handed hitter and the pitch caught me on the inside of my upper right arm. A very sensitive area and believe me, it hurt. You could actually see the imprint of many of the stitches from the baseball on my arm. Small little lines that were very close together. (Even my mother still remembers them.) I feared the baseball for quite awhile after that but eventually things got better. Eventually. It takes time.