How to hit a baseball
Hitting should be a natural, flowing movement. As a hitting coach, many young kids already have great movements in their swing. Their body has naturally figured out how to move the bat in space. In the process of figuring out how to hit a baseball, many kids will use the most efficient means of producing force .
I will take you through how to hit a baseball like the pros.
Unfortunately, there is plenty of bad coaching in the game of baseball. This robs young players of their natural athleticism.
Daniel was 6 years old at the time of this video. He simply learned by watching. His swing has all the principals that I teach here at hitterish.com.
Barrel Turn, Match Plane, and Stretch and Fire.
This is not a one time solid contact type of thing; he consistently squares baseballs.
I will expand on these concepts individually in a moment. I want to briefly talk about the importance of what happened with Daniel. Learning by watching is the best way to learn the proper mechanics in a baseball swing. With that said, we need to watch the right people.
If we are going to learn how to swing, why not learn to swing like the greats?
These are the 4 best hitters of all time. There is nothing robotic about the way they swing. They are smooth and fluid. This is the blue print for which all swing mechanics should be taught.
This is hard for someone to understand unless you can feel what it's like to swing a bat this way. In this type of swing, the weight of the barrel is used to create momentum. Notice how far the barrel moves before the hands come forward. The barrel turn is present in the overwhelming majority of great hitters. This type of swing allows for the bat to get a running start, creating more swing speed, later commitment and the adjustability to hit all pitch types and pitch locations.
The image above shows an example of centripetal force. A swing that uses centripetal force is very efficient, this creates an effortless feel to the swing that can not be matched by any other technique.
To effectively square the baseball, our swing path must match the path of the pitch. The average pitch in the major leagues approaches home plate at a 10 degree downward angle. In order to match that plane, our barrel needs to be traveling 10 degrees up as it enters the contact zone.
Many coaches still teach hitters to "swing down." The overall premise of this type of teaching makes sense. They simply want hitters to take the bat DIRECTLY to the baseball. The problem with that cue, is that hitters who take this cue literally (why wouldn't they?) will swing too far down and across the plane of the pitch.
Do not do swing down...ever
Stretch and Fire
The clips above demonstrate how it feels to stretch and fire. The lower body should lead and pull the upper body through the swing.
Typically, most players use this mechanism correctly to throw. For whatever reason, they skip this process to hit, opting instead to push the hands forward and ahead of the lower body. If you look at the good hitters throughout the history of baseball, they all keep their hands back, allow the lower body to lead, which creates torque and leads to more power. They have learned how to use stretch and fire and take a full swing at every pitch.
Now that you know what to look for, watch only the hitters mentioned above. Compare your movements to their swing and soon you will become a very successful and consistent hitter.
Want to learn how to hit a baseball like the pros?
Learn by watching.
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