Today, let's discuss the importance of getting players to use their time while on deck.
Good hitters are consistently on time. When they're on deck, they get a free AB if they use it wisely, which increases their chances of success when they step up to the plate.
"Unfortunately..." most hitters go through the motions when they're on deck.
Hitters aren't thinking on deck
Swinging the bat weight
Looking around the stands
Worrying about their last AB
Not timing the pitcher up
Below, let's talk about ways you can help hitters avoid these mistakes.
Step 1: Explain the 'Why'
It may seem common sense, but not all hitters realize the importance of their time on deck. Explaining to them the different ways you can utilize that time gives them ideas to choose from. If you watch professional hitters, not all are timing up the pitcher for every pitch while they're on deck.
They may just be refreshing their plan of attack in their head or doing homework on how the pitcher is attacking the previous batter, but they're doing something.
Step 2: Show visuals
Some players still won't believe it until they see it. Here are a few visuals of hitters timing the pitcher up on the on-deck circle.
Below is a clip of Juan Soto during a spring training game this year.