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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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The Love and Frustration of Hitting a Baseball

The art of hitting a baseball can become a lifetime love affair.  But at the same time it starts a journey filled with frustration and failure. 

Hitting is often called the most difficult thing to do in all sports.

The challenge of hitting a baseball is what drives so many athletes to spend hours upon hours of practice along with hours of watching games on TV or in person.  This can become an obsession or idol if your have played long enough then you know exactly what I mean. 

Waking in the middle of the night with thoughts about our swing filling our heads, or hitting till our hands bleed only to do it again the next day are aspects of this love affair. 

Always searching for that one thing where we can say I GOT IT or I FIGURED IT OUT.  Only to go 0-3 the next day with three punch outs.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  It’s those good days that keep us wanting more.  The feeling when we hit the ball perfect on the sweet spot.  Much like golf except in golf you hit the ball pure and you’re on the green, in baseball you can hit the ball perfect only to see the centerfielder make the catch without taking a step. 

Even writing this blog stirs emotions of those sleepless nights and frustration over O’fers. 

The funny thing about baseball is that we tend to focus on the negative, not the hit that you did have but the three you didn’t get.  That is why we must focus on the things we can control.  Your approach or plan and how you executed those. 

Did you stay in the moment? 

The practice of one pitch at a time! 

The pitcher needs to execute three pitches to beat us where we as a hitter only need to execute on one pitch.    

How we handle the mental side of the game will make a huge difference in the success we have as well as how much we enjoy this wonderful frustrating game.

Enjoy the beginning of your lifetime love affair with hitting.

 

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

How to Hit a Baseball Drills

Baseball Hitting Drills Using the Net or Fence

 

Hey guys, I got another tip for you. This is one of my favorite how to hit a baseball hitting drills called the fence drill. This drill saved a season for me, both off the tee and when somebody was actually throwing balls to me underhand from the front, obviously behind an L screen or some type of protective device. But we stand here at this distance from the net. So my bat is at my navel right here. This is the distance I want to be from the net. This is basically punishment if we dive too much or we over rotate and come in. We’re going to hit the net. This is going to force us to stay square. This is going to force us to let a ball get deep if it’s moving.

Like this off the tee right now, I would set up in this position and now I have to stay square to get through the ball. You can see I need to keep my hands tight otherwise I’m going to hit the fence. We need to find this distance right here and now I come down through the ball. The fence is going to deter us from reaching out too far with our hands, from diving too much.

If you have a problem rotating your shoulders, now when we come out I’m going to run into this fence. It’s kind of like punishment. It doesn’t hurt, but it lets us know, it’s automatically going to keep our hands. I set up in this position, now I come right to the ball. See how tight I was able to stay. Yes we may drag along the fence a little bit, but it’s going to keep us short.

So if you have a problem diving too much, over rotating, just not staying overly balanced, use this drill. It’s going to force your backside to get through. It will help you out. It’s called the fence drill. It will help you have a great game.

 

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