*Cincinnati Reds Scout* Andy Swenson shares his Top 5 ways for youth ballplayers to improve their mental approach. Watch, Learn, Listen, Absorb, and Practice.
Andy Swenson brings a very impressive baseball resume to BaseballThink. He has scouted for five major league teams including the Pirates, Astros, Brewers, Padres, and currently with the Reds. Andy has also served in various coaching and management positions in Idaho collegiate and amateur baseball. Currently, he is the owner/operator of the Swenson Baseball Company. The Swenson glove line is used by professional and amateur players across the country.
Top 5 ways for youth ballplayers to improve their mental approach.
1. Watch- When attending higher level games (high school, college, professional), watch the player at the position you play and observe his actions and demeanor on and off the field. Before and after each pitch, watch his preparation, what he does after each pitch, and how he communicates to his teammates.
2. Learn- Observation from players older than yourself is the best way to learn how to play the game, talk the game, and respect the game. No player is bigger than the game of baseball. It has been around way before you were here and it will be around long after you are gone.
3. Listen- Listen to baseball discussions amongst coaches, players, announcers, and even parents as experience is key to growing as a player on and off the diamond. Some of the best baseball experiences in my lifetime were sitting around and listening to my late grandfather and his friends talk about the game and how they approached certain situations in their professional playing days.
4. Absorb- Be a sponge to all things related to the game as it will only make you a better player as your skills expand and you get stronger as an individual player. Not everything you hear will be correct as it relates to the game, but as you grow older you will be able to discern what is correct and what is not while making a decision for yourself based on what you believe in and have been taught.
5. Practice- Perform proper mechanics as often and intensely as you can for short durations of time. Long practices with poor mechanics will only hammer the bad tendencies into a player’s arsenal and that is detrimental to the development of you as a player. The phrase ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is only true if the practice is with sound/solid/proper mechanics, otherwise practice with bad mechanics will only make perfect outcomes for the opposing teams as wins will be theirs and not yours.