Baseball is a balance of physical and mental. Like anything, the body and mind are always linked. But since they say baseball is a thinking man’s game, you have to use your brain a lot. Carlton Fisk, a real good catcher who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, used to have a sign over his locker that said THINK…. I was always thinking when I played, even if I did say you can’t think and hit at the same time. As a catcher I used to study the opposing hitters, their tendencies, their weaknesses, their strengths. To me there was always something in the way a batter stood, the way he held his bat, to tell you what pitch he was looking for…. I always noticed the little stuff, it helps…. I really used my brain more that anything. As a catcher you scrounge for every edge. A thousand things happen in a game, little things, and you have to keep those things in your head. In the 1953 World Series, I threw two runners out at third base on back-to-back bunts. People thought I stole the Dodger’ signs. Truth is, I was watching how the batter’s feet were pointing, and how our pitcher was keeping the ball where I wanted it. I could just tell the bunts were going to the left of the plate — and that’s where they went.
~ Yogi Berra
Note: This excerpt is from Smart Baseball: How Professionals Play the Mental Game