At many points throughout our baseball career we are going to make changes to our swing mechanics, throwing mechanics, and overall approach. Deciding when those changes need to be made can be tough. We don't want to make changes carelessly or often.
Many times I see young players try something new in their mechanics and because it didn't work in one weekend they try something else or they go back to their old mechanics. This is why having a private coach or instructor is so important. Knowing exactly what changes you need to be making can save you so much time, energy, and effort.
When we make changes to our swing or throwing mechanics it's most likely going to feel somewhat awkward or uncomfortable for awhile. We are use to doing something a certain way and typically once we start making changes we don't see great results right away. Sometimes we do, but many times it takes getting use to the new mechanics to start getting good results.
So when do we decide it's time to make some changes to our mechanics or our approach?
Changing our mechanics is a bit more simple in determining when to change because there are checkpoints we can point to when looking at the swing or throwing mechanics. This is why we use video analysis with all our one on one training. Video doesn't lie, sometimes we can feel like we are in the right mechanical positions but when we look at the video we see that we aren't. So making mechanical changes can be done a bit more consistently if we are using video analysis because there are certain position we have to be in to be successful.
The best time for all players to go full force on making these changes is during the off season. No matter what level you play at, the off season is key to progressing.
With that said, I still believe that making mechanical changes year round is important for youth players, all the way up to high school varsity players. The key to making changes during the regular season is to not get frustrated when things aren't working during the game. That is going to happen if you are making changes throughout the season and you just have to approach the season as a learning experience with your new mechanics.
As far as when to change your approach; changing your approach as a hitter can be more results oriented. If you are trying to hit the ball to the opposite field but continually get jammed or are late on a lot of pitches, it's a good idea to change your approach to something else. Instead of looking to drive the ball the other way, maybe you start trying to work up the middle. Your approach should cater to your strengths as a player. How do you know your strengths? Repetition and experience! You don't know your strengths until you've spent a lot of hours working on your skills. And often times the best way to figure out what your strengths are is to ask a coach or instructor what they see as your strengths. MLB players have hitting coaches and defensive coaches and they are constantly asking questions and just to figure out how to get better. You probably should too!
Here's a great video of J.D. Martinez talking about his swing and what he did to become the J.D. Martinez we all know and talk about.