The best way to be a consistent hitter, is to practice your swing.
don't have to hit a baseball to practice your swing! Find a
comfortable swing that is affective for you, and go through your
stance, stride, and swing over and over again, so that your batting
technique is repetitional
to you. Once you have mastered your technique, when you come to the
plate you will not have to worry about your stride and swing, all you
will have to do is keep your head in and watch the ball hit the bat!
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!!!
How do you step in the box?
Many players don't get prepared for an at bat until they slip on a helmet. Getting ready to hit at any at bat must first start during practice. We're not talking about the mechanics of the swing (which will be discussed later), but as a hitter, you must know your strengths and weaknesses.
Quick or slow bat?
Tough time handling the inside heat?
Tough time with breaking pitches?
Uncertain about personal strike zone?
When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can incorporate them into your approach at the plate.
This process is not only important during practice but it's essential to recognize during each at bat in order to be successful.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
Players should study the opposing pitcher prior to the game, during between inning warmups, and while he is pitching to other hitters.
Things to look for:
What pitches is he throwing?
How is his control?
What pitches is he throwing for strikes?
What pitches does he seem to struggle?
What type of delivery does he have?
What are his strength?
Apply what you observe and develop a plan for this particular pitcher. For instance, perhaps he primarily throws fastballs; while you hit fastballs well, he throws hard and you have difficulty getting around on a hard inside fastball. Knowing this, your plan may be to look for a fastball middle or away, trying to drive it up the middle or take it the other way. If he throws a fastball inside, take the pitch until you have two strikes. By doing this you will swing at fastballs that you know you can handle, and you won't be striding too early because you're worried about getting around on the inside heat. This also has the added bonus of allowing you to adjust to his off-speed pitches.
Don't be afraid of going deep into the count or of striking out.
KNOW THE SITUATION
Great players (notice we didn't say hitters) always know the game situation and what they need to do to help their team in a particular situation. It really comes down to your willingness to sacrifice stats for the team when the situation dictates. This may entail laying down a sacrifice bunt or moving a runner forward by hitting behind him or taking a strike so a baserunner can try to get into scoring position by stealing second.
The game situation may fit with your strategy that you are using against this pitcher or it may dictate that you try something else. Make sure you have taken everything into account when you approach the plate. Each team gets a limited number of outs during a game; don't waste this one.
BE A TOUGH OUT
No matter what the strategy, situation, or the pitcher, always strive to be a tough out. This means you battle when you are at the plate. You don't swing at bad pitches. You foul off tough pitches. To be a tough out, you need to take a different approach when you have two strikes on you. The main thing you want to do is shorten your swing slightly. It doesn't mean that you won't swing hard, but it does mean that your swing is taken down a notch. This allows you to wait a split second longer before committing.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.
- Tommy Lasorda
It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
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