This article will provide general tips for becoming a better hitter. This article will cover the concepts of confidence, routines, reading the pitcher, understanding your role, and understanding the strike zone.
Additionally, this article will cover the basic fundamentals of hitting, how to hit for more power, and how to choose the appropriate equipment. If you practice these tips I am about to share, I have no doubt you will become a better hitter.
What Makes a Great Hitter
A great hitter in baseball must be one that provides offensive value to the team. To be a great hitter you need to help your team score runs. To be a great hitter you need to be able to get on base or drive in runs.
If you want to be the best all-around hitter, you need to be able to do both. This will mean you will have to have a productive swing, understand your place in the lineup, understand the game situation, be able to hit different types of pitches and do whatever is needed to help your team score runs.
Positive Mindset and Confidence
Hitting a baseball is not an easy task. In fact, some people believe hitting a baseball is the toughest feat in all of the sports. If you have a batting average of .300 you are considered a good hitter. This means that you will make an out 7 out of every 10 at-bats.
Failure happens more so with hitters than success does, therefore you must have a positive mental attitude. You have to take every at-bat with confidence. To have a positive mindset, you have to train your brain to believe that you are better than the pitcher and you will hit the ball hard. It also helps a hitter to change the definition of success.
Your goal should not be to get a hit every single time you bat. Your goal should be to do something positive for the team every time you bat. This could mean you hit a ball hard and it gets caught. You need to believe that is a successful at bat.
Another way you could help your team is to work the count and drive the pitcher’s pitch count up. This helps your team. By having quality at-bats such as these, you are being successful. If you have a negative mindset and lack confidence, you will put yourself in a poor position to be successful.
Keep a Routine
Having a routine is another important aspect of being a good hitter. A good routine allows you to remain confident and relaxed. A simple routine you may use is to stare at the barrel of the bat while you take a deep breath before you step into the batter’s box.
During this breath, tell yourself to see the ball well and hit the ball hard. After you exhale your breath, step into the batter’s box and tap the outside corner of the plate before you settle into your batting stance. This is an excellent simple routine to use before and after every pitch.
Study/Read the Pitcher
You need to also study the pitcher throughout the game to get a good read on him. By studying the pitcher, you will naturally improve your timing.
Additionally, the pitcher might fall into a routine. This will give you an advantage because the pitcher might be throwing the same types of pitches in certain counts without realizing what he is doing. This will help you become a better hitter because you will know what pitch he is throwing. It is easier to be a good hitter when you know what pitch is coming.
You need to understand your place in the team and lineup to know what kind of approach you should take during your at-bat. This could depend on many things. If you are hitting at the top of the lineup, you need to get on base and use your speed.
Bunting for a base hit might be your best option if you are fast. If you are in the 3-hole or the clean-up position (batting 4th), you will want to hit for more power.
Sometimes the coach will let you know what type of hitter he wants you to be. Additionally, if you are at the bottom of the lineup, your job may be simply to work the pitch count and do your best to get on base however you can.
If the situation or your coach signals it, you may be required to do a sacrifice bunt. This is where you sacrifice yourself by bunting the ball and getting out at first so that the other runners on base can move to the next base without getting out.
Understand the Strike Zone
Understanding the strike zone is another piece of being a good hitter. The strike zone is any pitch that is over home plate and between your knees and your letters (chest).
If the umpire is calling the strikes on the outside corner, you must swing at those pitches, especially with two strikes. You do not want to be called out without swinging the bat.
On the other hand, if the umpire is not calling a particular pitch a strike, there is no reason to swing at that pitch even though you might be able to make contact. If the umpire is calling it a ball, you would be better off not swinging and taking a walk.
Your batting stance should be a comfortable yet athletic position. Your knees should be slightly bent. Your feet should be shoulder width a part. A little bit wider than the shoulders is okay as well. You should feel balanced and be able to move easily from this position. Your head should be on the pitcher and your hand should be by your back shoulder.
As the pitcher is getting ready to release the baseball, you should shift your weight to your back leg. Additionally, your hands should move back slightly. This is considered your load. To be a great hitter, you need to time this up with the pitcher. The best hitters have exceptional rhythm and timing with the pitcher.
As you are loading onto your back leg and your hands are moving backward to the catcher, you want to stride forward at the pitcher with your front foot. This helps with rhythm and timing but also puts your body in the strongest position to launch your swing quickly from. Your front foot should land softly when you stride. Your stride should make contact with the ground just as you are ready to launch your swing.
As your front foot makes contact with the ground, you launch your swing. You fire your hips and your hands almost simultaneously. Your hands should be in front of the barrel of the bat as you begin your swing. During this time, you should be rotating your hips violently. This will bring the barrel of the bat to the baseball if done with the appropriate timing.
Eye on the ball
It is also important to mention, that you need to keep your eyes on the ball the entire time. It is very difficult to hit a ball if you cannot see it. The eyes need to follow the ball from the pitcher’s hand, through the air, until it makes contact with the bat. If you do this correctly, your head will be tilted downward at the point of contact and remain there until after the swing is finished.
How to Get More Power
To increase power in your hitting, there are three things you must do. First, you must swing the bat with the best mechanics to give you the most bat speed. To do this, a 10 to 15-degree upward swing is the most efficient.
Secondly, you must rotate your body with as much acceleration as possible. Plyometric drills and medicine ball throws can help increase your ability to rotate quickly. Finally, you need to develop your body’s overall strength. A good way to develop strength is to lift weights. Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups are great ways to increase your body’s overall strength.
A good baseball bat is one that allows you to swing the bat quickly but still have good control of where the barrel is going. You need to be able to make contact with the ball at a good rate of speed.
Additionally, the bat needs to be long enough to reach the outside corner of the home plate. You do not want a bat that is too heavy to swing quickly or you won’t be able to get the bat around to make contact with faster pitches.
A good pair of batting gloves will keep your hands from getting blisters. Most batting gloves will do a good job as long as they fit correctly. You do not want your gloves to be loose. This will cause slipping and lead to blisters. Additionally, you won’t be able to grip the bat effectively.
If you are struggling to maintain your grip on the bat, you may want to use some pine tar. Pine tar is a sticky substance placed on the bat to help you maintain a good grip. You can place the pine tar on the handle where you grip the bat or just above the grip and only use it when you need it.
Practice makes perfect
These hitting tips above will give you a great start to becoming a great hitter. If you implement these tips, you will greatly improve your chances of being a better hitter. The most important thing you do is to practice these tips. If you practice these tips, I have no doubt you will become a great hitter!
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