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How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

 

 

For many hitters, feeling a load, feeling a separation and weight shift is not easy.
Trying to explain that to a young hitter can be difficult. I have a drill to help you do that.
What I call this drill is the “step back” drill. A lot of you may have seen it before. What I want to do is explain how this drill works and why we want to use.

You address the ball the same way that we would in the box. Maybe slightly forward so the ball is at our navel. Get in our nice stance. What we are going to do differently is – before I swing I’m going to step back. I’m going to take a step back and I’m going to feel the weight go into my back leg. This is what I want to feel. I want to feel this load. That way when I come through the ball I can feel the weight shift. I can feel the drive.

For young hitters this can be difficult. They don’t understand what this is supposed to look like. Often times you tell them to load and they do this. Just barely move. By using the step back drill, we can get them into their legs and actually feel the drive. Feel the power. The legs are a big muscle. So let me show you how this works.

I’m set up here. Ball at navel. I’m going to take a step back and drive through the ball. Let me show you that a few times.

EXAMPLES

You can see how I get into my legs. Push into my legs. I want to feel my legs in this drill. Feel the drive coming through. Use this drill especially if you have young hitters, and even high school hitters.
I used it in professional baseball to feel my legs.
I didn’t understand it as a young player. I want to feel my legs. Feel that drive and have a great game.

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Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

There’s nothing quite the same as the game for a hitter.  Practice is never quite the same how we treat it. We can’t simulate the game.  What we want to do is try to get close.So, I have a front toss drill.  Casey is going to flip front toss to me.  The firmer ones are going to simulate a fast ball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  We need to be always back in time for the fastball.  For most of us, we hit the fastballs better than off-speed pitches.

So, no matter what, I want to be ready for my pitch.  I don’t care that the pitcher has a great curve ball.  I don’t hit curve balls very well to begin with so I will look for my pitch.  I want to be in position for my pitch.

So, what I want to do is make sure that when I load, I’m in position and now I’m going to drive through the ball off his fastball.  When he throws a change-up and I don’t like it, I take it.  I’m making sure I’m back and I can recognize it.

Let’s take a look at the drill.

Both of those would be fastballs.  I’m getting back in time.  Now he’s going to show me a change up.  What I want to do is make sure and let it come to me.

I was in a much better position.  I stayed back.  I’m not going to tell him what I am looking for and he’s not going to tell me what he’s throwing.

I was back and ready for the fastball.

Change up and I wasn’t in a position for it.  I wasn’t quite there.  That’s what I want you, as a hitter to do.  If you’re not ready to hit that pitch, take it.

It’s okay.  It’s strike 1.  We got two more. Right?  We want to make sure we are making this as close to the game as possible.

Get back.  Look for your pitch.  Put a good swing on your pitch.  Use this drill.  Mix in the change-up.  You don’t have to them.  Make sure you are staying back.  This drill is going to help you become a more complete baseball player.

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Baseball Hitting or Batting with Two Strikes

Hitting with 2 Strikes

Hitting with two strikes is what separates the truly great hitters form the rest of us.

Many coaches teach to choke up or widen your stance with two strikes.  Both of these techniques can be effective.  I tried them both and used them both at different times.  But I would argue that physical changes at the plate with two strikes on the hitter are less important than mental changes.

A two-strike approach should involve mental change more than a physical change.  In my opinion, you should already use a short compact swing, have plate coverage, be in a balanced stance and swing a bat that you can handle.

The change should be what you are looking for and forcing yourself to see the ball longer and deeper.

With two strikes we can’t be afraid to get jammed.

In most cases the pitcher will want to throw the pitch away whether it is a fastball or off-speed.  The majority of pitches with two strikes will be away.  That is my argument with choking up with two strikes.  If the pitch is most likely going to be away, why do I want to use a shorter bat to reach it?

Like I said at the beginning, I choked up with two strikes at different times but that normally had to do with how the bat felt to me and less to do with the count.  The two-strike approach should be a mental adjustment more than physical adjustment.

Remind yourself to see the ball longer and make sure you have recognized to pitch before swinging.  If you can barrel an inside pitch with two strikes you probably are not waiting long enough to recognize the pitch leaving you more vulnerable to off speed pitches and fastballs down and away.

Don’t be afraid to get jammed with two strikes and fight!  Find a way to get that ball in play.

Until Next Time,

Chad

Baseball Hitting Timing Drill

Baseball Hitting Drills For Timing

 

Rhythm and timing are so important to a hitter. For a hitter to get loaded, we need him to get back.  We need to him to be in a good position.  The timing of that, and when does it take place.

I have a drill that can help with that.  It can take place in a cage or on a field, like we are right now.  But the idea behind the drill is that I am going to load back.  As I go back, Coach Casey is going to toss a ball into the air.  From here I’m going to drive down through the ball.  It’s really important that I get a good load, that I get behind this ball because you will see, as the drill goes on, the speeds will change.  Much like they do in a game.

So, let me show you what this is going to look like.

BALL HIT

That simulated a fastball with his toss.  They are down and away.  He’s not going too high with it.  I’m loading as his hand goes down.

BALL HIT

You could see that he tossed the ball a little higher right there.  That would simulate a change up.  As time goes on and you get better at this drill, you mix it up.

Kind of like what the pitcher does to you during the game.  Let’s take a look at a few more.

BALL HIT

That would have simulated a fastball.  The toss was low.  I got back in time.  I’m in position, and I’m driving down.  Let me show you what it looks like when you don’t know what’s coming.

BALL HIT

You could see that was a change up.  The toss was higher.  I have to be ready for the fastball still, and how I’m going to drive down at the ball, depending on the pitch.  It is so important that we get back behind the ball and be in a position to always hit the fastball number one, and we can react to a change up.

Let’s take a look at another.

BALL HIT

The lower pitch was the fastball.  We got to be back in time.  We got to be in position to hit the fastball every time.

Use this drill.  It’s a fantastic timing drill.  Tony Gwynn swore by it.  It saved seasons for me.  Use the timing drill.  It’s going to help you become a more complete hitter.

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Looking for Your Pitch

Looking for your Pitch-

 

            Most hitters know what pitch they hit best.  That being said most hitters know what the holes in their swing are.  The question becomes what do you do to maximize your strengths and try to hide our holes?  If you don’t know what pitch you hit best you may want to spend some time thinking about that.  If you’re still not sure ask your coach.  To find your hole, simply ask yourself what pitch do you swing and miss at most or is the hardest for you to consistently hit hard.  Most young players struggle with the pitch inside.  This is because their hands do not go direct to the ball. It really doesn’t matter what the holes are in your swing, up, down, inside or outside.  The key is knowing what your strengths are and focusing on those.  

I think for everyone that means hitting a fastball. 

I have yet to meet anyone who hits the breaking ball better than the fastball.  

If we know what we hit best and where we like the pitch why are we looking for anything else?

Why are we worried about anything else?  As a hitter we want to stick to our strengths. When we waiver at the plate in our plan it will cost us.  It does not take much doubt in your head to cause you to miss your pitch. 

The pitcher wants that doubt and needs that doubt.  Once he has it he owns you.   It’s those little thoughts that cause the hitter to miss his pitch. 

What if he comes inside?

What if he throws a breaking ball?

What if?

These doubts cause the hitter to not be ready for his pitch.  Be clear on what you are looking for and don’t change until two strikes or the next at bat. Changing during your at bat is an awful idea.  We normally ending up guessing wrong and miss our pitch when it comes.  Be clear on you plan and stick to it.

 

Until Next Time,

Chad

 

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