The on-deck circle in baseball is your starting line. Your next steps to the plate begin your duel against the opposing pitcher. The few seconds or minutes you spend in the circle should prepare you for the situation ahead. Discover how to utilize your time and get yourself ready for success at the plate with these Pro Tips.
REVIEW YOUR SKILLS
One baseball hitting tip for your on-deck routine is to review your skills and stance. Your hard work in practice has led you to this point. Be sure to go over your load, stance and other factors before you get set in the batter’s box.
“I just want them to review a few things they’ve been working on. You know, their bat position, their stride, their balance, their breathing,” professional hitting coach Jimmy Johnson says.
Going over these batting skills can help your confidence when approaching the plate. You know you’re capable of executing. Running through each swing component can help ensure that.
EVALUATE THE PITCHER
Another tip for the on-deck circle is to take a gander at the opposing pitcher. The time before your next at-bat can be great for analyzing your opponent’s game plan. Look for tendencies and evaluate their pitches.
Professional hitting coach Kevin Riggs stresses the importance of watching a pitcher’s warmup pitches. “I immediately know he’s A: going to have a fastball. We all know that. He’s going to have a breaking ball, and he may have two breaking balls,” he says. “So, now again, from just watching warmups, I can eliminate pitches and be in a much better position to go up there for my at-bat.”
Taking the time to analyze a pitcher when on-deck can help you decide which pitch you can hit best. If you notice their curveball is moving well, it can help you lay off that breaking pitch and keep your at-bat alive. Understanding the pitches in your opponent’s arsenal can allow you to work the count in your favor.
PREPARE YOUR APPROACH
Finally, the on-deck circle can be a worthwhile time to develop your intended approach at the plate. You’ve seen what the pitcher can do. You’re confident in your skill set. How are you going to bring everything together to get on base and potentially score a run for your team?
It’s also important to remember, too, that not every positive hit is worthy of a highlight reel. Former professional baseball player Jordan Pacheco says in developing your approach you might need to sacrifice some flash and excitement. “My approach might be I need to hit ground balls up the middle today. And I know that doesn’t sound cool or anything, but that might be what I feel is going to help me perform that day,” he says.
Pacheco also states that despite the importance of having a plate approach, you shouldn’t complicate it. Trust your instincts and don’t try to do too much in evaluating the situation. “Yes, I’m trying to find a release point; I’m trying to find something. I’m also trying to be organic with it,” he says. “I’m not trying to overdo anything; I’m just trying to let my eyes see and my body react.”
Using your time efficiently in the on-deck circle can help you approach the plate with confidence. Get ahead of the count before the first pitch with these hitting Pro Tips.
Looking for more advice to get you diamond-ready? Find out the importance of being coachable with these baseball Pro Tips.