Andrea Hawkins: Bring swagger to the plate

Andrea Hawkins is a senior center fielder for Bay City (Texas) and Texas Impact Gold. She has signed to play at Alabama. She will blog for ESPNHS throughout the 2012 season.

Ever since my freshman year, I've adopted some pregame rituals. Before every game, I wear the same shirt while I am warming up. I usually stretch after the team does its normal warm-up routine, and the same person stretches me every time.

My at-bat ritual is also the same every time -- it gets me calm and focused. I do two dry swings and draw a cross right in front of the plate. Then I stare the pitcher right in her eyes. I walk up to the plate and OWN it. I want to be the one who is intimidating to everyone on the field.

You have to have swagger. This means you walk onto the field with 100 percent confidence, and nobody is going to break that. As a slap hitter, I always keep the defense on its toes because they never know what I am going to do -- slap, bunt or hit away.

Having pregame rituals will get you mentally prepared for each game.

Read the previous installment of Andrea’s blog – on setting preseason goals – here.