Thanks for sending in your manuscript and welcome to training camp. For the next few weeks, I’ll be your coach. You may have had many coaches before, but I want you to focus on those who helped you improve. What did they do that was special? My goal is to increase your chances of getting a hit every time at bat: get more line drives, more RBIs, and ultimately, more homeruns. Ideally, you’ll be hitting homeruns every time at bat. Of course, the practical implication of that is a bit of work. And trust. That’s where I hope to start.
One of the key things I’d like to start with is to help point out where you’ve got some blind spots. Those are costing you strikes or fouls. Every time you incorrectly assess a pitch, you’re ending up with some things you don’t want. You can’t see them on your own; that’s why they call them blind spots. And that’s why you need to keep an open mind. From my experience and my position on the field, I can see things you’re not able. I’m genuinely excited to try to help you improve your average, so be assured I’m committed to never steering you wrong.
Ultimately, what I want to do for you is help you understand the psychology of pitchers to help you predict what to look for. Pitchers look for your weaknesses. They try to exploit those to embarrass you in front of your fans. If you go out unprepared, that pitcher will see you as though you’re standing in front of him naked. Most of them are born naturally evil at it. I’ll show you how to make it harder for him to exploit, without over-compensating or relying on tricks. I’ll give you the real tools to use in staring down any new challenger.
And that’s just the beginning. Once you internalize my advice, you won’t have to fear any pitch thrown at you. You’ll be able to choose whether you want a single or a triple, whether to drop it on a grasshopper in far left field, or shoot a spinner off between first and second any time you like.
Now you should know that sometimes my advice may mean giving up one or more of your pet expressions. Those cherished little rituals, characteristics, mannerisms you’ve developed and nurtured that define your style and voice, many of them are actually hindering what you’re there to do—which is hit the ball. All those little embellishments distract you and everyone else from what’s underneath it all: a great hitter. So you may have to choose whether you want to be known for your flourishes or for your ability to crack that ball over the fence time and time again. I believe you can go far. But first you’ve got to decide what you want.
Now sure, I’m not omnipotent. I can’t see everything. But I’ve helped raise many a batter’s average, and every one of them has left with a greater power to accomplish their goals. I may not get a lot of thank you cards, but my hitters are a powerful force out there, consistently spanking the unfortunate pitchers who throw for them.
So do you trust me? Frankly, you’d be right to chew on that. Plenty of coaches have lost their drive, and some batters rightly believe they’ve been done a disservice by a bad coach. Some batters spread their ignorance, believing they’ll get further without a coach “manipulating their style” or “twisting their stance.” Even seasoned batters have been casting doubt on the value of coaches recently, though the idea likely stems from the same faulty “natural talent” thinking that coddles bad batting records. You may have heard about “the adulterating effects” of batting help which supposedly aims to correct the rawness of an batter’s talent. But a good coach is a good coach, the same as a good agent or a good financial advisor or a good personal trainer: they’ve got specialized knowledge you don’t. And as available tools in your tool chest, I may be the best you’ve got.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’m looking forward to spending time getting to know you and sharing what I know to help you navigate this new book. Don’t worry about the physics and rules concerning the methods of hitting or any of that yet. We’ll get to all that if and when the time comes. Just leave the coaching to me. Until then, keep your eye on the ball.
Great having you aboard!