- Exercise & Fitness
Hit Like A Pro: From Training to Application
If you're a baseball player then you know the number one hardest and most important thing to master is your swing. It seems like once you perfect your swing, the rest of your baseball skills follow naturally. Perfecting your swing is a combination of practice, training and application in games that all culminate in a swing that is effective and powerful. When training, there are plenty of exercises that you can do to get your swing exactly where you want it. Follow these baseball tips to master your swing and finally hit like a pro.
When you're in the off season, your training might go by the wayside. Don't let it happen to you. The off season is a perfect time to devote more time to training and helps keep your muscles limber and your skills sharp. In order to have a more successful off season, plan to have regular training sessions. That means actually scheduling time to actively work on your skills. The best way to do this is to enlist some teammates or a family member in to help you train. This yea, you're responsible for another party and can't skip training just because you're tired. Arrange to meet at the diamond or a training facility at a set time and when you're there, be sure you devote yourself to working. This will keep you ready for the next season, and keep you working on that swing.
A training session should include different facets. Here is a sample training session for you to try while working on your swing and hitting capabilities.
Hit ten balls to the opposite side of the field Hit tenstrategy to the middle of the field. It helps if you set a target that you are able to focus on.
Then switch up the pitches that you are hitting. If in a batting cage, you can set it to fastballs, curveballs etc. If you're hitting against a live pitcher, just ask him or her to switch up the pitches. Keep hitting until you hit ten of each type. You should also try and change the way you hit the pitches; try simple hard hitting, and then switching to ground balls, bunts and other types of hits that you are comfortable with.
Training in the off season in this way keeps your game fresh and your muscles limber. It may make the difference for a truly successful season. When you arrive for season training, you want to make sure that you didn't spend the off season losing your skills. Even if you are a natural born baseball player, good training in the off season makes for a better natural born player. Recruit your friends, family, team members or anyone else you can to help you out. You should be training at least three times a week to maintain your optimum performance level.
After your training, you'll know that good hitting comes from a variety of things; good position, great contact, perfect timing. These are all things that come naturally to most ball players, but that still need to have work through the course of training. That training should be able to translate into major pressure time in the end of a game. The best way to make sure you get the perfect hit every time is to make a checklist in your head. When you step up to the plate, you should be able to run down your checklist in your head and make sure that you have all of the necessary components to crank the ball out of the park.
First, check on your stance in rest position. How do you feel? Is it a comfortable position for you to be in? Consider your weight distribution. In rest position you should have about 60% in your back foot and 40% on your front foot. Your knees should be comfortably bent and your arms should be relaxed but poised in your batting stance. Focus your eyes straight ahead. When you've checked your rest position and have all of these components, you are now ready to move into your load position as the pitcher releases the ball.
In load position, you should feel your torso wind up before you hit the ball. It helps if you imagine your torso as a spring, so that when you make contact with the ball, you don't need anything but the sheer force of your body snapping back to make a solid contact. When in load position, your back foot should carry about 80% of your body weight, while only 20% is on your front foot.
As you move into contact position, your front knee should lock into position to add the extra power to your swing. Check your hands out; when making contact one palm should be up and one palm should be facing down. They should be at a complete 45 degree angle from your body. Your weight should shift 50/50 to each foot. Once contact is made, the bat should be wrapped around your head still; follow through is extremely important while batting. The full power of your body should make contact with the ball, not just the bat.
Your body is your most valuable asset when it comes to perfecting your swing. You should make sure it is properly balanced and aligned as you step up to the plate. While training and practicing, work on mentally making sure that your body is applying full force to the bat and making contact with the ball. See if your coach or another team mate can help you by double checking your stance before and after each hit. Don't simply rely on your arms and the bat to deliver the hard hit that you are looking for. Apply your whole body to hitting the ball and you'll find it going farther than ever, more consistently than ever.
Any good hitter knows that after practice and stance, they need to know the logistics and secrets to good hitting. Mostly, a good hitter has innate abilities, but they can enhance those abilities by learning more about hitting in general. Baseball is over one hundred years old; that means you have plenty of past experience to draw from when learning more about the physics and logistics of hitting. Great hitters in the past; Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and other greats had secrets of success that they applied to their hitting to make them great. Learn them and you too can learn to be a great hitter every time.
Work on your grip. Too often hitters are taught to grip the bat at the very bottom. Instead, you should be gripping the bat about 1-2" above the very bottom. This will give you better balance and control when you swing the bat, centering yourself on the bat instead of holding it at the bottom.
Watch where you stand. Okay batters stand around the middle of the plate, but great hitters always stand at the back of the plate. Give the ball enough room to slow down a little before it makes connection with the bat. You'll find a big difference on how many of those fastballs you connect to, simply by moving back a little. When you do hit the ball, try a few different speeds; hitting it full force, hitting it slowly, and then just hitting it at a steady medium pace. You may find that your steady medium pace connects to the most pitches, and you'll probably be surprised at how little force you actually need to make the ball connect ad go where you want it to.
With your stance, you need to keep your elbows cocked and locked, so that when you connect with the ball, your arms are strong and steady. Use your back legs to bring the force of the muscles in your lower body up to your torso and arms to create the strongest hit.
Avoid late swings. You can do this by constantly remembering that the real contact happens in front of the plate, not over it. Use this in your practice; you can even mark a spot in the dirt where the ball and the bat are supposed to connect for your reference. Watch your stride foot. If you lift your foot too late, you're going to have a late swing. By using your stride foot a little earlier, you can eliminate late swinging altogether.
Baseball is a mental and physical game. Hitters have a lot of pressure; especially when the bases are loaded and they already have two strikes. It is mind over matter. Teach yourself to relax in type of situation and concentrate on each pitch on its own. Make sure that you put in the appropriate amount of effort, training and practice in order to make sure that you are the best batter you can possibly be.