As hitters, we often find ourselves struggling soon after we have thought we had it figured out. The moment we think we are good, baseball reminds us of what we still have to learn. Always remember that becoming a good baseball player is a process. There is no place “to get to”, and no “destination”. There is only the journey, and the constant up-hil battle to prove your worth.
Here are 5 valuable hitting techniques that I believe will help you get there.
Know the situation
Guys, you can have a swing sweeter than Griffey Jr’s and bat speed like Pujoles but if you don’t know what the offensive situation calls for, you’re nothing but a dressed up out. The situation dictates the game. The better instincts you have the more valuable you are to the line-up.
Think “stay throughout the ball” not “straight to the ball.”
Thinking straight to the ball means the bat path is from where your hands are in your stance straight to point of conact. This is wrong and though well intended, will get you in trouble as you start to face better pitching. The earlier you get into a slot, and put the bat-head on the path of the pitch, the better chance you have of hitting the ball solid.
Agreed, the quickest point between to dots is a straight line but you’re trying to hit a 90 mile fastball with some movement. Save the geometry lesson for school. The earlier you can put the bat head on the path of the pitch, the better.
Stay aggressive in hitters counts.
Listen, if as a hitter you’re ahead in the count, you have the momentum, if he’s smart, he’ll come right after you so you better be ready.
You do that by being selectively aggressive. Key whole one pitch and one pitch only. If he throws you that pitch, you are not missing it. If he doesn’t, you’re spitten on it;)
It’s about the team. If you can play this way you will be surprised just how effective this can be. The more you play to win instead of padding your stats, the more you will find your self in situations that you excel in. You will find that you get better pitches to hit, better bounces in the field, and more time spent on the base-paths thus more playing time. It’s funny how the more we focus on “we” and the less on “we”, the better season statistically we seem to have.
Think gap to gap not foul line to foul line.
Being a good hitter comes from having balance. Both mentally, and physically and this has a direct influence on your overall approach. A lot of hitters get into trouble by focusing to much about hitting to the opposite field so they end up getting jammed on pitches middle in. Other times a hitter thinks he has to pull the ball to be aggressive which is great but often times will struggle on anything away, soft, or breaking. The middle path is the way. Think gap to gap and you will never have to worry about mechanical flaws that cause rolling over or getting jammed. This will happen from time to time, but staying gap to gap instead of line to line will a give a hitter a better chance to makes adjustments during the pitch. What’s great about this hitting approach is that it can be working on in almost all hitting drills.