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The best baseball advice ever

It’s not how good you are, its how good you want to be

The level of competition particularly in baseball, is such a unique thing. It’s the only sport that signs as many professional contracts as it does to players on an annual basis.

If you don’t know, its a lot.

It’s safe to say that the pool of talent in the United States alone can be quite intimidating for most players.

I know it was for me.

For a long time, especially in high school as well as my first year in division one baseball, I constantly compared myself to other players that I competed against.

Now during this time, I was playing against players like Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, Rickie Weeks, Yonder Alonso, who are all either already causing a ruckus in the big leagues or are having successful minor league careers.

So for me feeling intimidated was a battle that I had to first become aware of it’s negative impact on my game before I could overcome it’s grip.(Which I eventually did.)

First I had to be completely realistic with myself. I didn’t throw 98 MPH of the bump, and I didn’t hit .400 with 14 hrs in the ACC conference. So what skills did i have that gave me an edge over these players.

I had passion.

I had faith that if I could focus on the things that are within my control, good things can and will happen.

Now to be completely honest, I do have some natural talent. I run about a 6.4 sixty yd dash and have an average arm by professional standards, which is the ability to throw in the upper 80’s as a MID-INF.

I also had a pretty good idea of how to hit, but was I a first rounder?

No…..not by a long shot!

So it comes down to this.

It’s not how good you are, its how good you want to be. No matter what level you are currently playing at, you can play with the hope that because of your desire to get better and play for a long time, it might just happen.

I can’t help but think of the short conversation I had with former MLB player Greg
Litton. His daughter was a student of my mother’s and I had the pleasure of receiving some advice which was this.

” if you can find a way to just get better, even if its just a little, every year, you just might have a chance”

Now this is coming from a former big leaguer who didn’t even make his high school baseball team!

It was the greatest advice ever given to me, which is why after almost ten years later I can recall our conversation like it was yesterday.

So what does this mean for you? It means that your development as a baseball player is solely your responsibility. There is so much information now that is easily accessible, specifically on the web, and most of it is free. Not only at this site but there are countless sites that can give you helpful advice. So getting the correct education in baseball should be a given.

So you have no excuse! Remember….”it’s not how good you are…it’s how good you wan’t to be!”

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Keeping your hands inside the ball

 

Rolling over on pitches is something that will happen to every player throughout the course of a season. Chances are if you rolled over on a pitch, the pitcher did a good job of keeping you off balance. You either were fooled on a breaking ball pitch or you just simply failed to stay inside the baseball. Rolling over isn’t the worst thing you can do, but allowing it to become a bad habit will be detrimental to your batting average. So how do you keep from rolling over on pitches?! It’s actually pretty simple.

Here are five simple batting tips.

1. Keep your hands inside the baseball.
2. Allow the ball to get deep in the zone.
3. Recognize off-speed early in the zone
4. Cut the field in half and have a completly oppisate field approach.
5. Focus on throwing the knob of the bat toward the ball.
6. Understanding the concept of the inside-out swing.

Many hitters, especially power hitters have been called “pull hitters”. This means that majority of pitches they hit are contacted in the front of the hitting zone. Hitters like this tend to be great fast ball hitters, but struggle with off-speed and breaking ball pitches. Being a pull hitter and rolling over can be ideal for left handers who are in situational hitting situations. Certain situations may call for you to get a guy from second to third with less than two outs.

Batting tips #1

Practice the inside out swing. Take a few practice swings at about 30%. Yes I said 30%:) Focus on pushing the knob of the bat as far forward without releasing your top hand foward and allowing the bat head to come through. Take 20-25 swings then move to the next drill.

Batting tips #2

Stand parallel to a wall or net. The distance between you and the wall should be about the length of the bat that you will be using. Get in your stance an attempt to take controlled balanced swings, while focusing on keeping your hands inside. If the bat hits the net or wall , your not keeping your hands inside enough, so adjust accordingly.

Batting tips #3

Place a Hitting tee not on the inner half but middle in half of the plate. Focus on keeping your hands inside and hit to the back of the net. The ball should be hit middle away even though the pitch is slightly in. If you pull the pitch, your not keeping your hands in for long enough so adjust accordingly.

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Perfect Your Swing & Achieve Real Hitting Power!

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What if you could tap into hidden potential in your swing? What if you could achieve elite levels of bat speed with simple hitting drills that refine your approach and cure your swing viruses?

Grab Your Copy of The Bat Speed Blue Print 2.0


Are You A Bullet-Proof Hitter™?

Become A Bullet Proof Hitter By Mastering These 7 Simple Principles.

The Stories In This Audio-Book Are 100% True! The Hitting Tips & Advice Are 100% Tested For Mental Performance In The Batter’s Box!

Grab Your Copy Of The Audio-Book Here!


Hitting Problems Fixed!

…Click the link below to get access to up to date hitting drills, interviews with baseball scouts and countless hours of premium baseball information.

This will be the FUNNEST hitting advice you’ll ever try to apply!

Join the Hitting Machine Academy


 

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The art of hitting

Hitting is both an exact science and a form of expression. It can be explained and dissected by physics as well as represented as a way of life. It is when these specific principles and elements are combined that it becomes an art form.

So much emphasis is focused on technique and strategy which influences the modern-day hitter.  Scouting reports and approaches are main themes in the awareness of most teams offensive strategy. With all this information so readily available, the most important aspects of any endeavor are lost. The focus of the process is forgotten.

When it comes to performing, while you are in the batters box, you must come to a level of consciousness that involves emotional content. Yes you must truly hit with emotion. All that you have learned physically and mentality was learned so that you may eventually forget it as it becomes an instinctual part of who you are. You must cease to be aware of yourself, which is to be unaware of any external things as well as most internal things. This process must also be effortless. Similar to the teachings of Bruce Lee, it’s the art of effortless effort or trying less trying.

The desire to succeed and win has vanished for we have now become process oriented. Since we are no longer concerned with success or failure we have greatly improved our chances of success.

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Increasing Baseball Vision and Reaction

It takes only four-tenths of a second for a fastball to reach home plate which is only 60 ft 6 inches away.

A hitter has an average of about two tenths of a second to decide whether to swing or not which means the hitter has only two-tenths of a second to process this visual information and react.

The hitter has to recognize whether a pitch is located on the inside or outside part of the plate, recognize a breaking or off-speed pitch. The highest level of athletes can process this information quicker which gives them more time to make adjustments to their swing.  Ichiro Suzuki has gone on to say,

” You can only hit when the information picked up by your optic nerve is processed by your brain and then transmitted accurately to your body. If your eyes can’t pick it up, then you can forget about good results”.

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Try this eye exercise

So we now have come to know that it doesn’t matter how sound your mechanics are, how good your approach is or if you have plus- plus power. You can’t hit what you can’t see. One of the biggest differences between an advanced hitter and an average hitter is his ability to use his eyes in an effective way. He has to be able to compute what he sees and react to it quickly enough. It is well-known that athletes have better vision capabilities than the general population but through proper dieting and consistent vision exercises, your vision skills can be improved.

What you can do to improve your vision skills will be explained in a bit.

Baseball requires for players to have a unique set of vision abilities as well. In order to hit we have to judge, pitch rotation, velocity, in order to bunt accurately we have to have the correct depth perception. What is a common misconception about baseball is that there isn’t a difference between good eyesight and good vision skills. THERE IS!!!!!!!  How good your “eye-sight” is determined by your ability to interpret information and surroundings from visible light reaching the eyes. Visual skills, on the other hand, determines a whole other set of attributes which can all be improved to become more consistent hitters. Think about what increasing your vision skills can do to your batting average!!

Depth Perception
So essentially depth perception is your ability to perceive objects in three dimensions. More importantly, it allows you to judge an object’s speed and distance. In order to have efficient depth perception, you MUST be able to use your eyes simultaneously. The more functional your eyes work together, the better the results.

Visual Tracking
Visual Tracking is the process of your eyes measuring their point of gaze or the motion of the eye relative to the head. Visual Tracking is important for a hitter’s pitch recognition skills to see more effectively how the defense is playing you. Visual tracking is something that all successful quarterbacks have in common. Being able to scan the field in a more effective way will allow you to respond quicker and more accurately to external stimuli on the field.

Speed of eye dilation
Similar to other visual skills, the speed at which a baseball player ‘s eyes are able to focus can be trained and improved overtime. The ability for your eyes to dilate will affect your ability to pick up a pitch coming in the zone. The closer the ball gets to you the more your eyes dilate, thus the faster your eyes are able to dilate, it will also increase the time you will have to react.

Visual reaction time ( Optic Nerve Processes)
The optic nerve transmutes visual information from the retina to the brain. Think of your optic nerve process as a computer (essentially that’s what it is) the faster the information is processed the slower the ball will look in the zone. This process functions at its highest when you are relaxed. Have you ever noticed that when you are taking a pitch on a 3-0 count the ball looks bigger and you may even be able to see the seems better? The muscles surrounding the eyes have completely relaxed with very little strain. (Imagine Neo in the Matrix, I wonder how productive his Optic Nerve was:)

Visual Flexibility
In my opinion, between Visual flexibility and Optic Nerve Processes, these two attributes are the most  important vision skills to train. Visual flexibility allows for your eyes to move together to allow sight to become more efficient. Training this will allow a hitter to get his eyes on the ball with more accuracy and in less time.

[image src=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Screen-shot-2013-03-07-at-3.41.15-PM.png” linkto=”http://www.toplaybaseball.com/hitting-machine-academy/” width=”650″ height=”180″ lightbox=”false” autoresize=”true” clickthrough=”false”]


Perfect Your Swing & Achieve Real Hitting Power!

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 9.52.15 PM

What if you could tap into hidden potential in your swing? What if you could achieve elite levels of bat speed with simple hitting drills that refine your approach and cure your swing viruses?

Grab Your Copy of The Bat Speed Blue Print 2.0


Are You A Bullet-Proof Hitter™?

Become A Bullet Proof Hitter By Mastering These 7 Simple Principles.

The Stories In This Audio-Book Are 100% True! The Hitting Tips & Advice Are 100% Tested For Mental Performance In The Batter’s Box!

Grab Your Copy Of The Audio-Book Here!


Hitting Problems Fixed!

…Click the link below to get access to up to date hitting drills, interviews with baseball scouts and countless hours of premium baseball information.

This will be the FUNNEST hitting advice you’ll ever try to apply!

Join the Hitting Machine Academy