Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball

Helping Players Become More Aggressive Hitters

I hear these statements often, ‘He never swings at the first pitch, even when it is right down the middle,” “She won’t swing and always waits for a walk” and “He swings at everything.”

Some ballplayers are naturally aggressive and others, unaggressive. Both player types have their upside and downside. When it comes to hitting, aggressive hitters are often thought of as best, unless they swing at everything. Good coaches realize that the best hitters are those, who are somewhere in the middle, aggressive, but not overly aggressive. Helping hitters to be smart and not overly aggressive, is a gradual process of coaching the strike zone, while helping them learn their hitting strengths and weaknesses.

Helping unaggressive batters become more aggressive is usually a tougher project. These type players often look for walks, or continually hit with two strikes on them because they take a number of pitches and only swing when forced to, with a two-strike count.


Keys to Helping Hitters become More Aggressive

  1. Do not make too big a deal of them not swinging or it may become worse
  2. Help them learn and understand the fundamentals of hitting – knowledge of how something works, often creates confidence and a willingness to swing earlier in the count
  3. Coach them to believe the next pitch will be right down the middle and to be ready for it – many young players are not ready to hit because they want to wait and see where the pitch ball is going, instead of expecting it to be a good pitch.
  4. Never criticize them when they swing at a bad pitch, but praise their aggressiveness instead

All players have a hitting personality and coaches should not try to change that personality completely for fear of messing with their head, but patiently help them move towards the middle of controlled aggression.

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