Hitting tips that make a difference
Some players understand the following hitting tips without me even teaching them. For example, I often lob balls to players at the beginning of batting practice, just to see if they wait on balls. Some of my students automatically move towards me when I do this. I love that, as they are making hitting adjustments, which is a key to continued batting success.
Following are some very practical hitting tips that good hitters learn to make, even young players and even though the changes drive parents crazy. I help my students learn to recognize when adjustments are necessary so these hitting tips work to produce more base hits. Sometimes, adjustments are necessary from pitch to pitch, and they are adjustments I used in the major leagues.
Baseball coaches strive for consistency in their ball players, and rightfully so, but when it comes to hitting, little adjustments help, at least until players can get back to the drawing board and practice any weak points with their hitting mechanics.
Hitting Tips #1 – 4 feet wide and 6 feet Long
Understandably, most kids do not realize that the batter’s box is quite big, 4 feet by 6 feet, to be exact, and that they are welcome to use any part of it. Hitters can stand anywhere in the box, from very close to the pitcher or close to the catcher, or close to home plate or far from home plate. I believe it is best to set up and get use to the same spot in the batter’s box like all hitting coaches prefer, but when things are not working, change is good. Change gives hope to players, which is necessary, especially when in a hitting slump and when pitchers are getting them out the same way, repeatedly.
Hitting Tips: Who Cares
Often, when players make those batting changes, it is very apparent, so coaches frown upon it, as they just showed the opposition that they have adjusted. Coaches and players feel as though this gives the pitcher an extra advantage. My reaction is “Who cares?” they are getting you out anyway, at least by making some adjustments, the batter has a chance of getting some pitches they can handle.
Hitting Tips: The Practical Adjustments
- As mentioned above, when pitchers are slow and when batters have a hard time staying back, move up in the batter’s box as far as possible towards the pitcher.
- Vice versa, when behind on the ball, hitters should get as far towards the catcher as the box allows.
- When getting jammed on the ball, back off from home, serving to help get the sweet spot on the ball and maybe forcing the pitcher to pitch balls out over the plate.
- Along the same lines, when hitting balls off the end of the bat, move closer to get pitches on the inner portion of the plate, thereby taking away the outside part of it.
I remind kids of the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” to help them be unafraid of making adjustments when batting.
As mentioned, what seems so practical is often frowned upon, but good hitters use these hitting tips to make the necessary game adjustments. Finally, what is important to understand that every inch closer or further from home plate, and every inch closer or further from the pitcher is huge when it comes to being able to square the bat up to the baseball.