Osmosis is the gradual assimilation and application of knowledge, skills, and behaviors. It results from prolonged and repeated exposure. It often occurs on an unconscious and an unperceived level. It is a critical and necessary component in the maximization of a great hitter.
Osmosis in a hitter occurs via 2 primary methods: 1) Observation of hitters who play at a higher level; and 2) the performance of particular skills drills that mirror game conditions.
Observe enough games at a high school, college, minor league and major league level and a player assimilates both proper and improper ways to hit. The intent is not to imitate mannerisms. Instead, pay special attention to behaviors and attitudes, methods and modes. A hitter retains the essence of his unique style whilst incorporating any additional facets and habits that others find advantageous.
Do not just watch a game, or players, as a dull, nonparticipating spectator. Use every available sense. See, hear, and feel the characteristics of greatness. When a player learns to recognize the qualities of transcendence present in another hitter, he enables himself to identify, develop and enhance his inner potential, too.
Regarding drills, perform those which provide a close approximation of a game. For instance, use varying speeds and locations during a soft-toss drill. In a game, when a hitter encounters off-speed pitches thrown to different spots, he is prepared.
It is not necessary for a coach to explain every nuance and every underlying purpose of a drill. Allow the hitter to come to his own conclusions. When it dawns on a hitter that the drill mimics the game and he experiences the deja vu sensation for the first time, he is motivated to perform more challenging drills. In addition, he learns to devise and adapt drills to his own particular needs and capabilities. He begins to coach and teach himself.
Osmosis never stops. Be like a sponge and soak in everything about hitting. In time, new vistas of possibility become reality, often before awareness of their presence. Don’t question how greatness develops – celebrate its arrival and display your brilliance to the world!