On Deck

Developing Your On-Deck Circle Routine

Don’t waste time in the on-deck circle and batter’s box, prepare yourself for success.

  • Seeing the baseball is a critical part to hitting, if you can’t see the baseball you won’t succeed. The on deck circle gives you a great look at the pitcher’s release point. The earlier you see the ball, the more you read the speed, and movement. See how the ball is traveling, read the velocity, and break on off-speed pitches.
  • Look for pitcher tendencies by studying what pitch types a pitcher throws in batting counts. Watch where and how the catcher sets up. Sometimes a catcher tips the pitch location, especially setting up too early to receive a pitch. Additionally, learn on how the catcher works the corners in certain pitching counts, for example; how far is he setting up off the the outside edge with a two-strike batting count.
  • Use cognitive therapy techniques to improve your mindset. Talk yourself into feeling strong, fast, unbeatable, clearing negative thoughts.
  • Prepare your timing mechanism by focusing on when to initiate your load and stride. This varies from at-bat to at-bat, depending on the pitcher’s style and time to deliver the ball the plate. Try to get 5 to 10 repetitions of loading and striding.



Cognitive techniques for hitting, in simple terms; talking yourself into feeling good about your upcoming at bat. Your thoughts control your emotions, thus thinking positive builds a confident state of mind.
Positive cognitive thoughts include:


  • “I feel good today”
  • “I’m going to crush this guy”
  • “I own this pitcher”
  • “I am seeing the baseball great out of the pitcher’s hand”


A critical part to hitting is timing, begin your hitting preparation in the on deck circle; picking a spot in the pitcher’s wind-up to trigger your load.

The spot when you start your load will vary from pitcher to pitcher depending on the following:

  • The pitcher’s velocity
  • The pitcher’s time to the plate; both in his wind up and set position

Example of when to initiate your load:

  • When the pitcher lifts his knee
  • When the pitcher releases the ball from his glove
  • When the pitcher releases the baseball

Develop your game day routines during practice. For example, batter’s box and release point drills.

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