Login |  Register |  help

Three "Must Do's" for Hitting

Varsity vs Wantagh HS on 3/24/2010 4:45:00 PM
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 by Rich Powell

Too often I see batter's approach the box with no clue. What do I mean by that? Well, basically they go up to bat with no thought as to what their job is in that particular at bat. They have no idea what it is their team needs for them to do. Half the time they are trying to kill the ball when they probably don't need to. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying aggressiveness and intent to smash the ball when you hit is a bad thing, but a batter is so much more valuable to their team when they understand the situation they're in and know what needs to be done in that situation and make it a point to get that job done. Here are some must do's for good hitting:

Study the pitcher to gain an edge
Anything you can pick up about the pitcher prior to going into the box can help give you an advantage. Does she always throw the first pitch a strike? What pitch does she like to throw when she's ahead of the count with 2 strikes? Does she move the ball mostly in and out or up and down? What is her "bread and butter" pitch? Does she have a tendency to throw inside vs outside? Up in the zone vs down in the zone? Does she tip off any of her pitches by how she delivers or prepares to deliver? Some pitchers look at the location of where they'll throw their pitch after picking up the signal from the catcher. If you can pick up the movement of their eyes from the catchers signal to their target, you may be able to tell whether the pitch will be thrown outside or inside. Picking up on any of these things can help give you and advantage.

Go in to the box with confidence
Whatever you do when you go into the batters box, don't show fear. Go into the box with confidence that you WILL hit the ball. Even if you're not sure you will, tell yourself you will. Keep saying it until you believe it. Start before you get to the box. Even if you don't feel confident, look confident, put a look of determination on your face. Do NOT let that pitcher see that you are worried or that you lack confidence. It will only give them more confidence when they throw and, as a batter, you don't want to help the pitcher in any way shape or form. Going in the batter's box with anything less than a confidence demeanor is helping the pitcher. Work on it with a mirror if you have to. Most importantly though, you need to have the right mindset when you get into that batter's box. It's so important that you are thinking "I'm going to smash this ball" rather than "I hope I don't strike out." One thing that separates great athletes from the others is that they'll go into situations KNOWING they're going to get the job done rather than HOPING they don't mess up. They are focused on making a positive result happen rather that worrying about a negative one.

Know the situation
To be the most effective hitter for you team, it's essential that you know the situation before getting into the box. What does your team need right at this moment? Does your team need to move runners into scoring position? Does your team need a hit? Or does your team just need to bring a runner home even if an out is recorded in the process? Bringing a runner home from 3rd base with 2 outs is very different from bringing them in with just 1 out. It's important that you know these types of things as a batter. With a runner on 3rd and 2 outs, you basically are going to need a hit to score that runner (or an error). With just 1 out however, there are many ways to score: passed ball, grounder to the right side, deep fly, base hit, etc. Know all of those options and keep them open. If the pitcher throws you a perfect pitch to hit on the ground to the right side, go for it. It's so much less pressure when you know all you have to do is hit a grounder than it is to be up there not fully understanding the situation and thinking "I have to hit the ball well because we need to score that run."

Article by Stacie Mahoe
Contact us for information on reprinting this article.

Interested in Bat Speed and Hitting Power Enhancement? Go to Softball Performance and look for Bat Speed and Hitting Power Enhancement System in the left hand margin of the screen.

This page was created in 0.0918 seconds on server 132