The Absolutes of Hitting

If you watch baseball games from little league to the major leagues, you know that hitters have a wide variety of stances from which to hit.  However, there are many common denominators in all good hitters.  Stances may be different, but there are similarities in the moving parts of the swing if a player wants to give himself the best chance to be a good hitter.

Below you will find guidelines for the proper stance and swing.  Also keep in mind that every player’s body is different and interprets movement patterns differently.  Therefore, every swing will not look exactly the same and we should not make every player swing exactly the same way.  Use the following as a checklist but also understand that slight variations from these guidelines are accepted.

For the entire post including pictures, go to our website (store page).  At the bottom of the page is the link to the entire article.

http://woodallbaseball.com/home/trx/store/

Also see the Photo Gallery at the end of the post for visual examples of some of the best hitters in the world finding the proper position from which to hit.

For more on our clinics and instruction, go to http://woodallbaseball.com/home/baseball/woodallbaseballacademy/

Put the WHY in Every Repetition

Have you ever seen a player hitting off of the tee or throwing a bullpen in a rapid-fire fashion, with little or no thought between reps?  Practicing like this is better than doing nothing, but we can do much better.  On the contrary, have you seen a professional or high level college hitter (or pitcher) go through a drill?  He takes the time between reps to think about mechanical queues and focus on getting the drill right.

Working with a purpose and PUTTING THE WHY IN EVERY DRILL. Great players, when hitting off of a tee, going through throwing practice or fielding drills, prepare for each rep by answering the following questions:

  1. WHY am I doing this drill (what is the purpose)?
  2. WHAT am I getting out of this drill (what is the focus, adjustment, result)?
  3. HOW should it feel or what do I think of to get the drill right?

The great coaches that I have had in my professional career taught us to develop this in our work habits so that we can get more out of every drill.  Every swing, throw, pitch, ground ball rep should have a purpose.

One of the rules I have when I am coaching coaches is to never introduce a drill without explaining WHY you are doing it, what you are going to get out of this drill, and how should the reps feel.  The reality is that most of a player’s practice time is performed alone or without a coach watching every rep.  Therefore, the player has to know and/or remind himself of the Why, What, and How of each drill.

In our clinics, we do a drill call the Close Tee Drill.  It is one of our standard drills and nearly every player and every clinic includes this drill.  The Close Tee Drill is perofrmed by setting up the tee uncomortably close to the player sso that we can work on staying inside the ball through contact.  Why do we do the drill….to improve our ability to stay inside the ball.  What are we getting out of the drill….getting confortable and developing muscle memory with keeping hands and knob of the bat close to the body through the front half of the swing.  What should we think….Pull the knob of the bat through the inside of the ball and punch through the ball with the top hand to drive the inside pitch set up to the opposite field while keeping good posture and balance through the swing.

If you make a habit of knowing the Why, what, and how of each drill, every rep then has a purpose and our drills become more productive.  If we perform every rep with a purpose, our mechanics become more sound and our success becomes more a a reality through the right approach to our drill work.

For more on our coaching philosophy and approach to training players, go to our Philosophy Page at www.woodallbaseball.com