Post At-Bat Reflections
Most hitters will be able to tell you their results of the game and what they did at the plate that day, but they usually tend to only focus on what they think is important. This feedback changes depending on the hitter, and also depending on who they're talking to. When talking to you they might put importance on team stats, quality at bats, jobs they did at the plate, or say something like, "we got the win" instead of focusing on individual thoughts. While talking to their friends, or parents they may say something about batting average, or about highlights of their game compared to the team. This reflection on the game is extremely important, and is something you can use to build the culture and approach to hitting of your program.
Hitters at the professional level have access to video, and reports of everything that happened during the game that day. Even college hitters have access to a lot of that information. But at the high school level hitters will typically only get the books, a possible birds eye view camera shot, and video from their fans. Since transition times in high school are extremely quick, and the Head coach is usually coaching third base you don't always have time to reflect on their at-bat during the game. To me this is one of the most overlooked times to develop a hitter. Their mind is fresh from the at-bat, they can usually tell you in detail the pitches they saw and know the result of their time at the plate.
One of the recent articles I read was about Professional baseball player Michael Chavis who uses a post at bat journal. He uses it after every at bat, and takes notes on approach, swing thoughts, and even pitchers. An article from the boston herald quoted Chavis as saying "There would be a lot of times where I’d be hitting and I’d be like, ‘I want to do this, this and this, as regards to swing thoughts or approach,’ And I would forget one of them or two of them. Then I come back as soon as I get out and I’m like, ‘Crap, I forgot that.’ So I was like, why not?” (https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/05/25/red-sox-infielder-michael-chavis-journal-holds-his-batting-secrets/ ) The use of his journal made me realize that even though these guys do get information post game, the ownership of a personal reflection changes the meaning of every swing and at-bat. Personally having to reflect on feel, pitches, and approach can create positive habits and reinforce the thoughts you are promoting in your practices. The ideas will also stick in their heads, and using something that keeps a positive approach at the plate can greatly improve their at-bats.
The post at-bat charts I created are some of my favorite ways to force a reflection period of the hitters at-bat. Implementation and use is by far the most important part of this. Hitters will receive information after the game from coaches and being able to tie that with their own personal reflections will make connections on a more individual basis. This also gives us as coaches insight into how a hitter feels at the plate, and the mindset that they took into their at-bat. These can be used to mold different approaches, or to solidify the approach they are taking, and find better ways to integrate their mindset into practice.
I have attached a couple of different charts and plan on making a couple more in order to have different variations you can implement into your own program. This part of the game will make deeper connections with hitters and it's important we as coaches understand their thought process when they are struggling or having success.
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