Hitting Approach Training
Every player should have a hitting approach that suits their abilities. Figuring out whether a player is, or is capable of being, a power hitter helps determine the hitting approach they should develop. On the other hand, single’s hitters should have a different hitting approach to maximize their talents. Good hitting coaches work with players to learn and understand the hitting plan that best suits them. This plan, like the hitting techniques and fundamentals, is a constant work in progress.
Having a “one way works for all” philosophy is not a good way to go about teaching baseball, especially in the hitting area. Every player has different tools and mindsets so it is necessary to analyze each player’s strengths and weaknesses to come to a hitting approach that serves them best. For players with little power, it does not pay to develop a swing that promotes lifting balls into the air. Youth coaches must be careful of listening to all the talk about the importance of a high launch angle that is the current rage at the major league level. One must understand that the major league player is a unique and highly developed physical specimen capable of hitting balls a long way. Most youth baseball players are not that and teaching a high launch angle swing will only produce lazy fly balls and more strikeouts.
Additionally, each hitter has a “hitting” personality. Some are aggressive, always swinging early in the count regardless of pitch location and others have to be coaxed into swinging. The latter group often looks for walks or are overly selective and do not swing until they have two strikes on them. Coaches must help players figure out their hitting mentality and try to help them work to the middle – one where they are aggressive but do so in a manner that they swing at pitches in their “strength” locations early in the count.
Hitting approach development infographic
Following are some suggestions for developing a hitting approach for all hitters.
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 28 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.