Whether you are looking to play some baseball at a local club, or you want to help out when it comes to coaching on your child’s sports team, you need to get over your fear of being hit by a baseball. In the first place, don’t feel as though being afraid of the ball makes you a wimp. The truth of the matter is that being afraid of a small hard object that flies at you at dozens of miles per hour is actually a very rational fear. That ball can cause a lot of damage, but if you want to play baseball or coach people past a similar fear, you need to get over it yourself!
First, start by bracing yourself. Before you even pick up the bat, take a deep breath and tell yourself what you are going to do with it. Tell yourself that you are going to step up to the plate, and you are going to hit the ball. The problem is that many people get into the batting cage and they are convinced that the ball is going to hit them. This is usually made worse if they have actually been hit by a ball in the past! Instead, make sure that you go to the plate with a plan in your head of how things will play out. This puts your conscious mind in control of the situation, rather than your fear!
Put on some armor. Many people find that they can cope with the fear of being hit by a baseball a little bit better if they are wearing some kind of protective gear. While a cup is very important for any male who is playing the game, you’ll find that there are some further options as well. For example, look for skateboard pads that you can wear on your leading elbow and your knee, which are two places where it is very common to get hit. This is a good choice in terms of practicality, and it also gives you some mental comfort. This gear isn’t going to slow you down as you sprint for first, and you’ll find that over time, as you get more confident, you won’t even need it.
Watch the ball. It sounds silly to say, but when you are afraid of the ball hitting you, you are likely concentrating on the pitcher. The key is to prepare yourself, and part of that is watching the ball itself. Get into the batting box, and make sure that you are ready for the ball to come. This means that you have a good wide stance, your knees are bent, and your shoulder is pointed towards the plate. Keep your eyes on the ball, and you’ll find that you are significantly better prepared for anything that might happen.
Start with tennis balls. If your experience with baseball has taught you to be wary of baseballs in general, start slow. Get a few tennis balls and have someone pitch them at you. If you get hit with a tennis ball, it’s going to sting, but chances are very good that you are not going to get even a bruise. Practice for a few nights with tennis balls, and you’ll find that your confidence goes up. You are going to get used to things flying at you, and you’ll start to build up a resistance to your fear.
Remember why you are there. Baseball is actually not an event where strangers or friends are trying to hurt you with high-speed projectiles. The point of the game for you as a batter is to get on base, so keep your goal in mind. Coaches always tell us that we need to get our heads in the game, and this can help you get over your fear of getting hit.
Getting hit by a baseball is rough. It does happen, and in some cases, there’s not much you can do about it. However, it’s rarer than you might think, and once you get over your fear of the baseball, you are going to be having a great time!