Quick Tips For Hitting
Hitting is a very unavoidable fate for aspiring baseball players -- it's not possible to play at a high, elite level without at least being capable at the plate. Additionally, it's not usually a naturally-born skill and players must work incredibly hard to improve at it. However, there is some good news! Hitters now come in all shapes in sizes -- from slap hitters and speed demons like Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, power hitters like Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, or the do-it-all-nature of Los Angeles' Mike Trout -- it's never been more plausible to bring your own style and flair to the game. That said, beginning to hit can be one of the most difficult activities across any sport.
How are you supposed to consistently put every factor together in a way that will produce positive benefits? Add in a pitcher trying to specifically stop you from those goals and you've got a trying task. Much like riding a bike, hitting a baseball relies mostly on being comfortable in the box, which often comes with simple practice, execution, and dedication. Try using CoachUp's certified tips the next time you're staring down a pitcher and take him deep!
It's all about that base
The first key to any successful at-bat is a strong, athletic base. How are you supposed to hit anything if you're not centered and ready? Make sure your upper body and head are located between the feet and knees. Bend your knees at a comfortable angle, with your weight towards the toes. It may seem silly, but you'll need a reliable stance to take your baseball game to the next level. If you're uncomfortable, you're more likely to move through the motions or focus on the wrong things as the pitch is delivered. After striding, your weight should be slightly over the back leg. To utilize the hips and upper body, your feet must be far-enough apart that you can get momentum going, while still staying athletic. You'll want to rotate your hips and arms to generate more power behind your swing, and although it's tough to do all these things on-the-fly at a consistent rate, a little practice will change everything.
Timing is Everything
Just like most difficult challenges in athletics, the player must never take a play off. If he or she does, they'll be woefully unprepared for whatever is thrown, literally in this case, their way. In baseball, even the most brief of lapses could lead to missed opportunities, strikeouts, crucial errors, or game-losing scenarios -- so you must be on your toes at all times! That includes being ready and in-rhythm to hit every pitch, timing your swing changes according to a pitcher’s velocity and hitter’s mechanics. Sometimes, it may even help to time the opposing pitcher's fastball before your first at-bat! Even if you're not physically trying to count how long it takes to cross the plate, just cerebrally noting how long it generally takes can be beneficial. it's an undeniably great way to get a leg up on the at-bat before even stepping into the box.
Penny For Your Thoughts
Of course, hitting is a difficult physical activity, but much of the pressure still falls on you mentally. Do you typically find yourself excited to step in, or hoping the inning will end? Do you like hitting with the game on the line, or would you rather be the winning run at third base? Players, obviously, don't get to choose when they hit and must contribute when they're called. Baseball is particularly interesting in this way -- in basketball, a player may pass it away if he doesn't want to take the last shot and a soccer player might not even see the ball on his side of the field -- because there's no way to avoid duty when it calls.
So, the best thing an aspiring player can do is not run from the pressure, but instead embrace it. Nail down a strong belief in the concepts and ideas from your coaches and teammates. Combine that with a willingness to accept information and change, something that most established players are particularly stubborn about, and do whatever it takes to fix any kinks in your swing. Stay disciplined and open to continue despite failures or setbacks, they are just temporary unless you let them take over. Once you master the emotions, you'll be that much closer to confidently taking swings at the plate.
(Related: Read about stealing bases here.)
At the end of the day, hitting is something you'll have to work incredibly hard at. You won't just wake up one day and be a lethal hitter, and players like Trout and Cabrera have spent much of their lives honing their craft. If you can remember to put yourself in positions to succeed -- a strong base, staying focused, and being mentally prepared -- you'll already have won half the battle. That doesn't always guarantee success, but you'll never find it if you don't continuously develop in helpful and positive areas. The game is always evolving, so you should too! If you're still having trouble with some facet of hitting, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to help you out. Our team has decades of experience and knowledge under their belts and they want to bestow that wisdom on you! If you dream of being the next big slugger, you'll need to build your stance and skills from the ground up, and there's no better resource than one from CoachUp! What are you waiting for?