How To Improve Your Mental Game In Baseball

How To Improve Your Mental Game In Baseball Interview: “He Called it the Paradox that the Upper Parts of our Brains Invent the Games that we Play… Then the Lower Parts are the Ones that Play it”



In this how to improve your mental game in baseball interview with Coach Joe Yurko, we go over a little sports psychology.  One of my favorite subjects when it comes to hitting a ball!!  This is a Part-2 interview with Joe on our Swing Smarter Hitting Training Podcast.  If you missed Part-1, then CLICK HERE.How To Improve Your Mental Game In Baseball

Here are some of the how to improve your mental game in baseball topics we discussed:

  •  Review of Joe’s 10 Sports Psychology principles that are a part of his hitting system
  • Fear: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane, in the story, he was afraid, but it was his own imagination that caused him to be afraid, there was no Headless Horseman.”
  • “These kids were walking around saying, we’re going to face a guy throwing 95 miles an hour. I’m trying to counter that.”
  • Conscious Brain: “…your thinking parts, the parts that land rockets on the moon and invent sticky notes and whiteout and things like that.”
  • “The moment you said, I don’t care anymore, you just turned your brain on.”
  • “He called it the paradox that the upper parts of our brains invent the games that we play… Then the lower parts are the ones that play it.”

CLICK HERE if you want a copy of the Joe Yurko how to improve your mental game in baseball interview transcript in pdf format.

Here are the links Joe mentioned in the article:



Baseball Mental Game

“What Do You Mean by You Can’t ‘Try’ To Hit?” – Joe Yurko Interview on the Baseball Mental Game



In this baseball mental game interview with Coach Joe Yurko, we go over a little sports psychology.  One of my favorite subjects when it comes to hitting a ball!!  Interestingly, I published this interview on our Swing Smarter Hitting Training Podcast, and of the 44 total podcast episodes, my interview with Joe Yurko is the most popular, taking 14% of total downloads!Baseball Mental Game

Here are some of the baseball mental game topics we discussed:

  • Teacher-coach, what you were teaching, the psychology side, give everybody a little bit of a background…
  • Joe Yurko’s 10 Rules for Sports Psychology Success…
  • What do you mean by you can’t ‘try’ to hit?
  • “The better you are at what you do, the more you can forget it; the more you forget it, the better you do it.” – Lawrence Shainberg
  • How did you get out of your head and just react when you play?
  • The ‘Pattern Interrupt’…
  • “The mind’s a great thing as long as you don’t have to use it.” – Tim McCarver
  • Joe, where can people find you?

Joe has been a follower of mine for some time, and what I like about him is he is as obsessed about how sports psychology applies to baseball as I am with mechanics.  He taught sports psychology in school and coached baseball for many decades.  I feel he’s formulated and used a system with his past team players and with his current players, as an instructor, I feel the information would be useful to parents, coaches, and instructors out there.

CLICK HERE if you want a copy of the Joe Yurko baseball mental game interview transcript in pdf format, then you can click the preceding link to follow along.


Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Heard “Keep Your Eyes On The Ball!” OR “See The Ball Hit The Bat!”…?


Ted Williams Seeing Ball Hit Bat.

Ted Williams said ‘on the rare occasion’ he could see the ball hit the bat. Photo courtesy:

Me too…

Well, we’re about ready to debunk both of these well worn coaching cues by sharing the results of a scientific study.

This study was sent to me by one of my readers (and friend) Joe Yurko…THANK YOU 😀

Here’s where you can find the full cited study:

A. Terry Bahill and T. LaRitz, American Scientist, 72, 1984, pp. 249-253

I recently presented the study to my Toastmasters club as a “Technical Paper”, and we recorded it so I could share the findings with you.

Sorry, I wasn’t mic’d up, so the audio isn’t the best, but I think you’ll get the message.

CLICK HERE for the Powerpoint slides I used for the speech.

In this video presentation, we go over:

  • Statement of the problem,
  • How it was solved,
  • Data Conclusions,
  • Experiment Applications, and
  • The study’s limitations…

In a nutshell, the study goes into debunking the two coaching phrases:

  • “Keep your eyes on the ball”, and
  • “See the ball hit the bat” (which Ted Williams said he could do “on the rare occasion”)…

The study findings will SHOCK you.

What’s more…

There was one Powerpoint slide I accidentally skipped over during the speech, and you can view the information on elusive slide #11 in the above-mentioned Powerpoint link.

The forgotten slide contains the following study findings:

  • Slowest pitch for hitter’s eye not to fall behind would be 21-mph assuming no wind and thrown at a 45-degree angle. To see the ball hit the bat? Would need an anticipatory saccade*…jump from first 1/3 of the plate to last 1/3, but you’d miss the middle 1/3 distance to plate.
  • *Saccade suppression – look at your image in mirror, look at your left eye, then look at right eye…did you see the eyes move? Process that turns off visual system during saccadic eye movements…otherwise, we would think the world is flying around us.
  • Hitter uses predictive abilities to track the ball the last 1/3 of ball flight…using peripheral vision.

I’d love to hear your comments about this below…