August 21, 2011
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Our website Expert Baseball Tips is designed to help coaches and parents of baseball players from youth league thru high school.
What's Your Approach
The past several months have been extremely busy and filled with baseball. Our high school team won a third state title and we've been busy all summer with camps, watching elite baseball tournaments, and also watching my 11 year old play.
From all the games I've watched at the younger ages (12 and under) this summer, it really suprises me at the young players that have no hitting approach. In fact, I would estimate that more than 3/4 of the ones I watched just got in and started hacking. Players are getting instruction at earlier ages these days, but too many spend time hitting and never discuss an approach. All good hitters have a hitting approach. It's routine.
First, hitters need to pay attention before they get to the plate. The on deck circle is the time to begin timing up the pitcher. Every pitcher's delivery present different timing issues for a hitter. They need to know the pitcher's delivery.
How many times have you seen a young hitter swing at a bad pitch right after the hitter before them walked on four straight pitches? I'm a believer in aggressive hitting, but be smart.
Second, get your helmet on and your bat in hand when you are in the dugout. That's one thing I really like about my youngest. He just turned 11 and loves to hit. If he is anywhere near the top5-6 in the batting order for that inning he has his helmet on and bat in hand, hanging at the gate. He's ticked when there is 3 up 3 down.
Third, every hitter needs a routine in the batter's box. A certain way they enter the box, the same number of practice swings, etc. Hitting routine is an important part of the approach. It builds confidence. Believe me, a pitcher knows when the hitter is nervous and doesn't want to hit. He also knows when a hitter is ready and confident. Get in there and get ready.
Last, get your swings in before the game to prepare for success. Hit off a tee, take dry swings, hit wiffle balls, do something to prepare. Good hitters hit and great hitters hit more.
Learn more Hitting Tips
The Sweet Spot...Did You Know?
Did You Know that aluminum bats have a wider sweet spot than wood? So it must be better to hit with aluminum all the time to maximize the sweet spot? Wrong. Wood will give hitters insant feedback. In fact, for younger players they should be careful hitting in practice with big barrell aluminum.
Every good hitter has experienced the jar of the bat in their hands when they didn't make good contact and the satisfaction when they did. There is nothing like a solid hit with a wood bat.
Players learn to use their hips and legs properly and get their hands inside the ball in order to get the Sweet Spot of the bat or the COP on the ball. COP is the cener of percussion and that's the best place to hit the ball with the least resistance to the hands.
Work hard and hit the sweet spot.
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