How tired are you of baseball’s biggest batting cliché, “hitters are born, not made”? When it comes to effective baseball hitting training and development, a solid sense of correct hitting mechanics is the key to impressive results in the batter’s box—not genetics.
Becoming an effective hitter requires an understanding of mechanical habits and actual application of them. Simultaneously, you need to educate yourself on what will not help you, so that you can learn to recognize it and avoid its consequences.
The following baseball hitting tips will help you build a foundation for success at the plate. (Brush up on Some Batting Practice Dos & Don’ts.)
Among every hitter’s goals should be to establish distance between where they hold their hands and their center of gravity. Why is this necessary? Because the separation works as a catalyst for genuine bat speed. It’s what allows the hips to pull the hands through the zone. This is an important concept, and it’s one of the first hitting drill exercises I have my players perform during each hitting lesson.
Minimal Head Movement
The second issue that hitters fall prey to is an overabundance of head movement. Some movement is fine, since it’s a direct result of a healthy stride; but too much disturbs perception. As the head moves, so do the eyes; and the more the eyes move, the less accurate the information about the ball’s path and movement will be when it’s transferred to the nervous system. It doesn’t matter how sweet your swing is, “you can’t hit what you can’t see.” How’s that for a cliché?
Correct Bat Path
Even experienced hitters have this problem when they cut their swing in half to create backspin. Old-school advice—like “stay on top of the ball,” “go straight to it,” and “chop down”—is actually detrimental for developing your swing. True, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but we’re trying to teach how to hit 90-mph fastballs, not solve geometry problems.
Hitters have to understand what an effective swing looks like: it’s the opposite of cutting the ball in half. It’s more like the Nike “swoosh” logo. The head of the bat has to be on the plane of the pitch as early as possible for as long as possible. This is how a hitter is able to hit the ball to all parts of the field, stay back on off-speed pitches and develop the power to drive the ball with force.