Hitting tips

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Baseball Hitting Technique: Better Stance and The Right Bat

Choosing the right baseball bat and adjusting your stance will make a big difference in your baseball hitting technique.

Pick the bat with the correct length to weight ratio. That would be the length of your baseball bat minus the weight. For high school players -5 is the average while little league players should keep it in the -10 to -12 range. If your bat is 32 inches long and it weighs 20 ounces, the ratio would be -8. Choosing the right bat will improve your baseball hitting technique to get the most out of your swing.

Now that you have picked the right bat, you have to practice. If you don't have someone to pitch the baseball to you, head out to a hitting range with a baseball pitching machine. If you don't have one nearby, you can purchase a baseball pitching machine for $59 and up.

It's time to practice. MLB Hall of Fame player Cal Ripken says, learn your strike zone and stay on top of the ball. Stand on the balls of your feet and take a short step for better balance when swinging.

Practicing these tips will help improve you baseball hitting technique.

   
How do you get out of a slump?

Slumps

Slumps are inevitable in baseball. When slumping, try to get back to basics. Think about hitting the ball right up the box and judge yourself on solid contacts (and not necessarily hits). During a slump, maintain a positive outlook and be a team player. Keep playing solid defense and continue to run the bases aggressively. By doing the little things to help your team win, you will be able to keep a positive outlook...then, the slump will be gone before you know it.

   
How can I improve as a hitter?

Know your strengths

Know your stengths and weaknesses as a hitter. Try to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
If you make a conscious effort to eliminate a weakness in practice, you can make that translate into the game.

   
Should I use a wood bat?

The best training tool

The best training tool for hitting is the wood bat. It instantly rewards you if your swing is a good one. By feeling the solid connection, you know you had a sound swing. It also penalizes you for a poor swing with a cracked bat or buzzing hands after poor contact.

   
Should I develop a batting ritual?

Regimen

One of the simplest tips for hitting is to develop a regimen. Do the same pattern as you step up to the plate. Getting into a pre-at bat ritual will help to keep things constant and get you in a groove.

   
When should I concentrate on mechanics?

Mechanics

Players who have the most success are those who are properly schooled in hitting mechanics.
Hitting is neurological...it's muscle memory. By properly practicing techniques and drills, the body will learn to react properly to a specific pitch in a specific situation.

All good hitters have the same basic mechanics. They are balanced. Their swings are short and compact. They have limited movement and a limited stride, yet they have a solid weight shift. Only by practicing drills each and every day does a swing develop into a flawless piece of art.

   
What are three simple rules to hitting?

Three rules

Three simple rules to hit by:
1. Get a good pitch to hit. Not only do you have to know the strike zone, but you need to know your strengths and weaknesses in the strike zone.
2. Be quick with the bat. Bat speed will enable you to wait longer and explode on the ball.
3. Think. Remember what the pitcher likes to throw. Know the scouting report and anticipate pitches (yes, even guess at the proper time).

   
Should my stance be athletic?

Be athletic

The stance is the foundation that you will build your swing upon. Start with an athletic position. Balanced, strong, and ready for motion. Have some sort of movement in your stance that helps you prepare for your swing. No good hitter hits from a complete standstill. Your stance and pre-pitch approach prepare the way for an effective cut.

   
When should I work on mechanics?

Working on mechanics

Work on mechanics during batting practice or while doing drills. By the time you step in the batter's box during a game, all your work should be done. The axiom 'You can't think and hit' is often true.

   
Is balance important?

Balance

The first thing to look at with a young hitter is
balance. If you can push a player lightly and
the player loses balance, he or she is not in an effective athletic position to start the swing.

   
Do you swing up on the ball or down on the ball?

Swing Up or Swing Down

Most hitting analysts say the proper swing is a motion that provides a downward plane. But, ask Ted Williams and you will get a different answer. In his book, The Science of Hitting, Mr. Williams actually is an advocate of a slight upper-cut. This just proves that baseball theory has no true absolutes. How can you argue with Ted Williams?

   
What can I work on during batting practice?

Moving the runners along

During batting practice, work on hitting the ball to the right side of the field. If there is a runner on second and nobody out during the game and you need to move the runner to third, a ground ball or fly ball to the right side could get the job done (instead of bunting). The advantage is that you can also punch a hit through the right side.

   
How can I hit more of those off-speed balls?

Getting your timing up to speed

Shorten or eliminate your stride. This would be considered baseball heresay by the "step into the ball" believers, but, it immediately cuts down on time preceding the hands. It also makes hitting off-speed and breaking pitches more possible.

   
When should I start learning proper mechanics?

Learning mechanics

Make sure you start to learn proper mechanics at an early age. As you move up in level of play, proper mechanics will allow you to maintain success. Lessons, clinics, and camps are important to attend...just make sure that the teacher is a qualified professional!

   
What is the launch position?

Launch position

No matter where you start the bat, all good hitters get into the launch position. The launch position is the position your body is in when your front foot lands after the stride. The bat should be 4-6 inches from your shoulder at about a 45 degree angle. The hands are back and the weight is distributed about 75% to the rear side. Consult a professional about the launch position for further clarification. It is one of the most important things to think about in hitting!

   
Should I use a weighted bat?

Weighted Bats

A great way to develop bat speed is to swing a weighted bat. Not just for the on deck circle, weighted bats are a fantastic training tool. Try to take fifty to one hundred swings a day!

   

Baseball Hitting Tips

Playing the game of baseball requires batting experience. Everyone has to step up to the plate for the pitches. A few baseball hitting tips will help train a batter to react quickly and effectively to get on base.

First thing is to swing a lot with a bat that fits. A solid connection of a bat with a ball at high speed will send a ball quickly on its way. It is the connection that is important here, not the size of the bat.

Know the strike zone and and where you are comfortable hitting. Don't be a sucker for bad pitches. A pitcher will try to throw a ball with the intention of leading the batter to swing at something that can not be hit very well.

Face the pitcher with both eyes and stay on the balls of your feet. Keep your head steady with eyes towards the pitcher. When the pitch is being delivered, move the bat back a little and get ready to swing if it is a good pitch.

Take a short step towards the oncoming ball to keep balance. Swing slightly downward to avoid an upper cut and keep the front shoulder down. Practice batting skills by using portable batting cages with a pitching machine. There is no substitute for practice.

   
Should I learn to drag bunt?

Drag bunting

Even if you are a power hitter, add drag bunting to your repertoire. Drag bunting will allow you to add a base hit at will when the third baseman plays back. If the third baseman has to play in, you may be able to to poke one past when you swing.

   
Should I try to smack it into the fence?

Focus on where you want the ball to go

You should not be trying to hit the ball high and far, but hitting the ball hard according to where it is pitched. Start by trying to hit the ball hard through the middle of the field, but also learn how to strike a ball properly that is either on the inside or outside part of the strike zone. Bring your bat level through the contact zone and concentrate on base hits. Base hits win, pop-ups lose.

   
Should you guess?

Guess?

Should you guess what pitch is coming? In certain situations, most definitely. Generally, look fastball down, breaking pitch up. Use this approach on every pitch. If a pitcher has an extremely sharp slider or a wicked split finger fastball, try to take that pitch away by sometimes guessing the pitch is coming. You need to analyze a pitcher's habits and tendencies.

   
Should you swing at a first pitch curve?

First pitch curves

You need to lay off the good off-speed first pitch, but the bad ones (the hanging curveballs) can be the easiest to hit. If you have not shifted your weight too far and your mechanics are in place, hack at that first pitch curve up in your eyes!

   
When should I start learning mechanics?

Get help early

If you truly want to play baseball throughout your childhood and on into your teen years, get professional advice early. Taking individual lessons from a professional is a great way to cultivate your talents. Even if you are not overly gifted, proper learning of the mechanics will maximize your play!

   
Should I toy with my unorthodox stance?

Unorthodox stances

Unorthodox stances are acceptable if all other principles are in place (proper launch position, weight shift, and swing plane). Major League stances vary greatly. Most important is the mechanics that develop as a result of the stance.

   
Are there hitting absolutes?

Absolutes of hitting

Be careful if anyone is directing you toward "absolutes" in hitting. There are different philosophies and approaches. One way works for one hitter and another way works for the other.
Listen to what everyone has to say. Then, carve out your own mold when it comes to hitting.

   

It's Outta Here!

You’ve seen them; the big league players who can hit baseballs out of the park with one swing of the bat. Amidst the cheers of the crowds, they’ve put what they’ve learned from coaches into practice. It’s what they do; it’s what they get paid to do.

They haven’t always hit that way. It took years of practice to learn how to hit well. They learned some of the most basic things when they were just starting out, and they have incorporated what they learned into their times at bat.

Having a level baseball swing is one of the most important elements of hitting. When you take that baseball swing, make sure to bring the bat around, keeping it level so when the bat meets the ball, you get the maximum velocity out of the swing.

Another important tip is to make sure you have a good stance. You should stand with your feet apart, knees slightly bent and stand in a natural, comfortable position.

To perfect your swing, practice! Then practice some more! Make use of videos and baseball hitting nets. Spend an afternoon at the batting cages. Have friends pitch to you to perfect your baseball swing.

Invite them to your next game, so they can watch you hit one out of the park!

   

Youth Baseball Training

Baseball training is necessary in order to play the game well. Young people grow up watching baseball on tv or seeing their parents or older siblings play the game. This encourages them to play pitch and catch to get the basic skills needed to play baseball.

Throwing the ball is the start of the game. Using a glove to catch the ball is next in place. The ball may come in the form of a fly or ground ball but it needs to be caught in the glove. After the development of proper throwing, accuracy and strength is gained. Keeping the eye on the ball becomes the lesson learned as it is applicable in both throwing or batting.

Hitting a ball a bat is the next set of lessons on the agenda. The beginner usually starts in a backyard among friends and neighbors. Watching the ball come closer creates an excitement that builds a desire to hit it with the bat. Connecting the bat with the ball through a powerful swing is an enjoyable event. Seeing it fly across the field for a base hit is success in the game of baseball.

   

Amateur Baseball Pitching Machines

Authentic baseball and softball pitching machines come in a wide-array of designs, ranging in price from $200 to $4,000, depending on your level of expertise and need. Most pitching machines hold up to 12 baseballs at one time, and release or pitch balls every 6 to 15-seconds. Heavy-duty commercial machines hold up to 120 balls, pitching balls every 8-seconds, at speeds up to 95-MPH.

Authentic, amateur baseball pitching machines, designed for back-yard use or team field practice, are engineered to throw all standard pitches, including fast balls, poly balls, curve balls, pop-ups, line-drives and even grounders, and can emulate left and right handed pitchers. Pitch speed can range up to 50-MPH.

The most important safety rule, all batters must adhere to, is absolutely and unequivocally, wear your helmet. During a real game, you would never approach home-plate to bat, without first gearing up. This applies to your practice using baseball pitching machines, as well. A 50-MPH pitch from a baseball pitching machine can do serious harm to your head, and because these machines are engineered to mimic real pitches, balls are not always thrown straight. The helmet rule is the most important tip for all hitters, whether up to bat at practice, or in your back-yard, using your baseball pitching machine.

   
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