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The K Factor

Some players accept striking out as part of the game. Others find it humiliating. Some take weak swings trying to just make contact or swing at something they can't drive early in the count so they aren't faced with the possibility of striking out.

Developing patience at the plate and reducing the fear of striking out can be facilitated by having confidence that one can still have a successful at bat with two strikes in the count. If this confidence is lacking (or if a player simply needs to reduce his number of strike outs), a player should consider developing a two-strike swing.

While a lot of players shorten their stride and their swing with two strikes (which is good), sometimes a more radical approach is needed. One thing I would suggest, especially for younger players, is to avoid the stride altogether with two strikes. When faced with two strikes, take your stance in the batter's box. Before the pitcher delivers the pitch, take your stride and hold it with the weight back a bit and your hands over the rear foot. Then simply take your swing from this position.

I've seen hitters do this over a course of a year and actually end up hitting better with two strikes on them than early in the count. Makes you wonder if you even need a stride (actually you do to reach your potential as a hitter). Once a player has confidence in his two-strike swing, he should show more patience and take better swings early in the count.





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Jon Anderson