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How To Build A Consistent Routine For Consistent Results

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One of the biggest factors that separate great talent and great players is consistency. Often times, the one thing that holds players back is not the level of their play, but the consistency of their level of play. How often is a player performing at, or near his best? In professional baseball, all of these players have the ability to do unbelievable things at any moment. But which players can do it day after day? Week after week? And season after season? These are the players that make the big bucks.

Consistency in baseball is the art of synchronizing mind and body to do the same thing every single time. The problem with most players is they don’t have a purposeful routine to facilitate this consistency. They come out to games or practice without a true understanding of the importance of everything they do. Their routines are inconsistent, and thus their mind and body become inconsistent and erratic as well.

In order to develop consistency through the power of mind and body, you need to build a consistent routine. A very specific routine that gets you ready to play both physically and mentally. All big league players have this type of routine. From the cage, to batting practice, to pregame, to in-the-hole, to on-deck, and to regular at-bats. Something that’s done every single time they enter these phases of their preparation.

If you’ve ever gone to a Major League baseball game and watched early batting practice, you will witness the beauty of a consistent routine.

Let’s reference Mike Trout, because his batting practice was one that particularly stood out to me. His first round was working the ball to the opposite field. If you had no idea who Mike Trout was, you would have a hard time believing he was the best player on the planet based on the results of this first round. It’s nothing special to watch, as he hits very few, if any balls hard. But the round is purposeful for him, nonetheless.

His second round is much of the same. Boring yawns come from the stands as he hits line drive after line drive off the “L” screen. Never once does he give the crowd what they want. He’s in the middle of a necessary routine.

Round 3 starts to wake the crowd up. He starts spraying line drives from the left-center field gap to the right-center field gap. Balls one-hop the wall at an astonishing speed. If you’re seeing Trout for the first time, you’re starting to understand the hype.

Round 4 gets the crowd into it. But he doesn’t do it for them. He does it because as he takes his final swings before game-time, he needs to prove to himself that his body is ready to take game-like swings. Ball after ball slams into the outfield bleachers from left field to right field. Most of the fans in the stadium wonder why he doesn’t do that every single round. Little do they know that his consistent routine is part of what makes him such a consistently good player.

If you don’t have a consistent routine on game day, you need to develop one! Whether it’s a batting cage routine, Tee routine, BP on the field routine, in-the-hole routine, or on-deck routine, you need to have something consistent that stays the same day after day.

Most of you think you have a routine. Your coach has specific batting practice rounds that need to be executed and you have an on-deck routine that you like. But almost all of you can make your routines even more specific and purposeful to improve consistency.

The routines you create should be unique to you. But there needs to be a reason for the routine. Nothing unnecessary. All of them purposefully created to prepare you physically and mentally.

One of the players I work with was struggling with consistency. He started off the season hitting 7 home runs in his first 10 games, and was well on his way to a historic season. However, it turned out to be a hot streak that couldn’t be sustained.

As he started to slump, he contacted me looking for answers. The word he used to describe his problem was consistency.

“I want to improve my consistency,” he said. “How can I be more consistent?”

I told him he needed to develop a consistent routine that’s strategically created to help him perform at his best day after day.

The routine we created for him was purposely created to do two things: 1) Reinforce the physical movements of his swing and 2) Get him in a confident state of mind to attack his game plan with freedom and focus.

Here’s what we came up with:

Pre-Game Batting Cage Routine

  1. 5 slow dry swings to contact (emphasis on reinforcing swing plane and sequencing)
  2. Swings off the tee 60% (3 low and away, 3 middle-middle, 3 up and inside)
  3. Swing off the tee 100% game-like (3 low and away, 3 middle, 3 up and inside)
  4. Front Toss (2 rounds of 5) emphasis on timing the ball

Pre-Game Batting Practice (Live on the Field)

  1. Look middle-away, drive it to right-center
  2. Gap-to-Gap (hit it where its pitched)
  3. Open it up (drive the baseball, looking for doubles and home runs)
  4. 2-strike approach
  5. Game Approach (Less than 2-strikes)

In-the-hole Routine

  1. At-bat starts when you Velcro your batting gloves on. This signifies the start of a new at-bat completely separate from all previous at-bats.
  2. Review your plan/approach in your mind
  3. Take a deep breath
  4. Close your eyes for 15 seconds, visualize yourself executing that plan
  5. Take another deep breath
  6. Watch the pitcher

On-Deck Routine

  1. 3 slow swings to contact reinforcing the movements of your swing
  2. 2 hard, aggressive, game-like swings
  3. Time the pitcher’s fastball, breaking ball, etc.

At-Bat Routine

  1. Deep Breath, look at the barrel, repeat your simple approach by saying it in your mind
  2. Step in the box and mash

This was a very carefully thought out routine to synchronize mind and body. No wasted time or energy. All of these routines had a specific purpose to help this individual player get in a consistent state of mind.

This exact routine may or may not work for you. Maybe some adjustments need to be made to help cater it to your own individual needs. But being consistent with a routine will help you be consistent with your mindset and performance, so developing a routine that works for you can be hugely beneficial.

The problem that most players have with routines is that they’re boring, so they start to abandon them after a certain period of time. But consistency itself is boring. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of consistent is “always acting or behaving in the same way.” Yes, consistency is boring. But consistency is one of the most cherished words a baseball player can hear. So create a boring routine to get boring (great) results!

*Note: Don’t confuse a purposeful routine with superstitions. Superstitions are wasted energy based on unnecessary fear of doing anything different. A routine is something purposefully created for real performance benefits. Not washing your socks or chewing the same piece of gum throughout the game is not a purposeful routine, but rather an unnecessary superstition.

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About Brian Hamm

My name is Brian Hamm and I am all about "Baseball Development". Through my journey as a high school and college player, I always felt that a competitive advantage eluded me. I constantly researched and discovered new resources, ideas, and theories that have shaped how I coach today. It’s my goal to work relentlessly in order to give my players, clients, and coaches the biggest competitive advantage that will allow them to reach their full potential. My mission is to spread my knowledge to baseball players around the world and help change the developmental process forever.

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