Here's how to hit a home run..
1. Create Bat Speed
Bat speed should be the goal for all hitters. Unfortunately many coaches love to shorten swings to the point of producing very little bat speed at all.
In reality, the harder you hit the baseball, the better chance you have of hitting base hits and home runs. Many of the players I come across are taught to hit ground balls, they never once consider how to hit a home run. Bat speed, ball exit speed and launch trajectory are key.
The red dots in the graph above represent home runs. Notice that all home runs are hit between 20 and 40 degrees. Even more important, you have to create enough bat speed to hit the ball 95+ miles per hour.
So how do you create more bat speed?
Here are the 4 best home run hitters of all time.
(Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth)
They all tip the bat forward and use momentum to their advantage. I assume that because the bats were so heavy, the players of this era developed a swing that could efficiently move that much weight.
These players understood that pushing the bat forward was just not an effective way to move the barrel. This type of swing allows the barrel to move independent of the shoulders.
Watch how far the barrel moves before the shoulders open up. This creates deep, early bat speed.
And here are some more recent players that are pretty good at hitting home runs.
(Gary Sanchez, David Ortiz)
2. Hit the baseball out front
Fact of the matter is, everyone hits the ball harder to their pull side.
What allows great hitters to be great, is their ability to hit all pitches hard, that includes outside fastballs and breaking balls. The approach to catch the ball out front makes you learn to be early and then adjust by keeping the hands back.
Hitting the baseball out front typically results in the ball being hit to the pull side.
If you ever go to a baseball field, one of the first things you might notice is that the fence is much closer down the lines then it is to center field.
A typical major league field is roughly 315-340 down the lines and 400-430 to center.
Having the approach to hit the ball out front will increase the likelihood of an extra base hit.
Obvious.. I know
3. Lean over the plate
Most people agree that using your legs is important when you swing a baseball bat. Wouldn't you want to bend your knees and bend your waist in preparation to use your legs?
Bending at the waist is something that you will see from all the great hitters. Many have close to a 90 degree angle between their thigh and spine.
Try to maintain the spine angle throughout the swing. Many kids may lean over the plate to begin the swing, then end up straightening out and making contact with the spine vertical. This will cause the swing plane to go over the baseball instead of being able to drive through.
4. Practice hitting home runs
As obvious as that sounds, in my experience, there are very few kids actually practicing hitting home runs.
In the Domican Republic, the young players recognize that hitting home runs is what gets them to the major leagues. They practice their entire life knowing that when the moment comes to impress scouts, they are expected to hit the ball over the fence.
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