If you’ve played a sport you’ve heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect”. That’s not entirely true…
In the games of baseball and softball, where the margin for error is so small, you need to have your skills fine-tuned at all times. One inch too high or low and one step too fast or slow can make a huge difference. When preparing in the offseason and training during the season, focusing on the details is where you’ll find the most success when it comes time to play a game. We see it all the time, especially at instructional academies across the country-kids forming bad habits over and over again.
It’s great to see so many kids learning the games and enjoying all that comes along with playing baseball and softball. We’d also like to see more kids, parents, and coaches focus on quality over quantity.
For example, instead of taking 300 swings and 1-2 lessons per week, players that focus on perfect practice would see better results. That might mean taking 60 perfect swings over the course of the week instead of 5x as many just “average” swings.
As coaches, players, parents, & instructors, we sometimes get caught up with a ton of mechanical and mental approaches instead of simplifying things for our players. Getting players to really drill down on the quality of their swing as opposed to the number of swings is a great first step. Talking to them about what went wrong, how it felt, and why the ball went where it did is way more effective than just putting another ball on the tee and letting them do the same thing over and over again.
Keeping players in tune with their swing, their perfect swing, is the best way to expect great results when it comes time to the game. Repetition is only truly effective when the proper mechanics are being repeated!
So when you’re in the cage, at the field, or just in the backyard, remember “Perfect practice makes perfect!”