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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How to Hit a Baseball

How to Hit a Baseball
By Chris Moheno

There is a science to the sport of baseball, especially in the batters box. It really is more than just standing up there and hoping to hit the ball. A player can either research baseball hitting information on their own or seek out professional baseball training. Either way, learning is the companion of success.

There are several principles involved with hitting a baseball successfully and consistently. Once these principles are learned and memorized, practice is the key. Ever wonder how the MLB players hit a 98 mph fastball? Lots and lots of baseball batting training.

So take these basics and practice them until they become second nature. Everything should feel natural and comfortable. Now let's take a look at the elements of baseball hitting.

1. Select the proper bat. Bats come in different lengths and weights. Then there is what is called "bat drop". This is the difference between the length and the weight. For instance, a bat that is 29" long and weighs 18 ounces has a drop of -11. This means that it feels lighter and is easier to swing. The higher the drop number, the better (and more expensive) the bat. Selection is made based on the batters height and weight.

2. Develop a hitting approach. This is also known as plate discipline and is extremely important as the player gets older. The batter needs to be able to distinguish what is a "hittable" pitch and what is not. Simply going to the plate and swinging away works for very young players as it helps allay the fear of being hit, but older players need discipline. A good start is to watch the ball from the pitcher's hand all the way to the plate, or preferably, to your bat. Adjust your strike zone as the strike count develops. A smaller zone for 0 strikes, a bit larger for 1 strike and larger still for 2 strikes.

3. Develop a good bat grip. Not tense yet firm. Not loose yet relaxed. When you grab the bat, it is important to stay relaxed in your whole body, starting with the hands on the bat. The hands should be positioned so that the top knuckles of the lower hand line up somewhere between the middle and top knuckles of the upper hand. Anywhere in that area that is comfortable is workable. The idea is to keep the bat out of the palm and closer to the fingers for more control. This also helps keep the grip relaxed, helps avoid "bat drag" resulting from tension and increases bat speed/reaction time.

4. Take note of how you stand in the batters box. Always remember the three B's: Be comfortable, be confident and be balanced. All three are necessary for hitting success. Make sure you can cover the plate and your strike zone(s) completely. Find the right depth in the box, too. You will want to be able to get on top of a fastball as well as time the breaking pitches. Most important of all is to be perfectly balanced with the hands at the top of the strike zone.

5. Learn to "pick up the ball" as it is released by the pitcher. Watch his arm until the ball is released, then pick up the ball as it travels towards you. After a little practice, you will learn to distinguish the type of pitch that is coming and that goes a long way towards hitting the baseball. Baseball training focuses on this aspect of hitting mechanics.

6. Take your stride before you swing the bat. As the ball travels towards you, take your step (stride) and keep the weight on the back leg. As you begin to take the swing, bring the weight forward and use the momentum for power.

7. As the swing starts and your weight comes forward, pivot the back foot and keep the front as planted as you can. The hips will begin to open up and work with the legs to add the power to the swing. Arms and hands should be brought through close to the body. This helps with bat speed and accuracy. The head should be picking up the ball the entire time it is in flight.

If you practice these basics of baseball hitting, you will see a difference at the cages as well as on the field. Your batting average will soar and you will hit the ball consistently. Baseball training is the way to go for baseball hitting success!

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically. His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game. Discover more about baseball training on baseballtrainingsecrets.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Moheno

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick