Baseball may be the thinking man’s game, but too much thinking is problematic for members of the Maize (Maize, Kan.) baseball team.
Rocky Helm’s players use a variety of tactics to ensure they’re doing as little thinking as possible when they’re at the plate.
Senior centerfielder DJ McClure takes to writing “Don’t Think” on his wrist tape, while catcher Braxon Byfield likes to hum a song when he’s at bat. JC Sturgeon and Brady Hoover take similar approaches.
The goal is to block out any potential distractions and let the muscle memory honed from countless hours in the batting cage take over.
For as little thinking as Maize’s players do in the batter’s box, they’re constantly thinking while getting the sign from Helm, playing the field and running the bases. Helm stresses fundamentals and expects his players to make smart decisions.
Maize dominated most of its opponents in 2011, but the 2012 season has featured more competitive games. Successfully bunting a runner into scoring position or executing a hit and run could be the difference between winning and losing.